Karl Lagerfeld presented inside the beaux-arts-style Grand Palais exhibition hall Chanel’s Spring 2018 collection and he brought the drama of the natural world indoors with a huge cliff complete with waterfall towering behind the catwalk.
The models wore many sporting thigh-high, clear plastic rain boots as well as plastic hats, ponchos and gloves as they strode past the waterfall which flowed beside the catwalk. The collection also featured examples of the label’s traditional tweed suits, as well as 1960s-inflected miniskirts, transparent skirts, oversize trousers and ruffled lace dresses.
Kaia Gerber, the 16-year-old daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford opened the show, continuing her run of high-profile appearances, sporting a loose-fitting, tassled jacket with a miniskirt and a tube top, accented with plastic boots. Sam McKnight created ponytails wrapped in perspex, and Tom Pecheux painted an ’80s-inspired beauty look with dramatic blue eyeshadow and red lips.
- Alexander McQueen
For the Alexander McQueen Spring 2018 show in Paris, creative director Sarah Burton, transplanted Great Dixter gardens to the Orangerie at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. The clothes were pretty tulle dresses sliced with ruffles, in white, red and pink, sometimes with a heavy knit or trench coat thrown over the top, styled with flat studded boots that brought to mind British aristocrats gardening in their finery.
Drenched in rain, warmed by sunlight, her wardrobe consists of long-cherished, worn-and-torn couture inspired pieces and bespoke men’s tailoring, deconstructed and reconstructed: reclaimed. Burton also sent some standout denim, metallic, lace and tulle moments down the runway, and as usual left us feeling a bit in awe of her commitment to opulence and expert craftsmanship.
Though she presented her florals and frills on the season’s top models, as always, Burton also featured a pair of newcomers whose curves brought welcome body diversity to the Paris Fashion Week runway. They were Eline Lykke, a Norwegian newcomer, and Betsy Teske, a Dutch model and law student in Amsterdam, were chosen by McQueen’s casting director Jess Hallett; the decision “was all about sisterhood and celebrating femininity.”
- Elie Saab
Everything Elie Saab does, he does with high glamour. His Spring 2018 collection, which was inspired by the Amazon, featured no jungle-ready clothes. The designer worked a rainbow of colors in his rainforest-inspired collection.
Saab turned his hand to practical daywear, presenting suiting in bright, bird-of-paradise colors and weekend-ready separates of embellished tees and slinky bomber jackets. This being a hot-weather collection, Saab also sent caftans down the runway, which were perfectly suited to the woman who wants to lounge poolside, but never get wet.
Of course, where Saab shines is in eveningwear, and this collection was no exception. It came in beaded gowns with car-wash skirts and sheer lace jumpsuits with lingerie-inspired details. According to Saab, the monochrome looks were a throwback to his Nineties designs, though the show marked a step forward in his quest to bring more daywear into the mix. “I feel a new energy in this collection,” he said
- Stella McCartney
British-American designer McCartney underlined her eco credentials with an invitation that came wrapped around a roll of “trash bags”, made from recycled linear low-density polyethylene. She continues her sustainable pursuit at Paris Fashion Week with collection of organic cotton and synthetic leathers
On the catwalk, a pair of skin-free skin faux leather trousers in caramel was indistinguishable from the real thing. Her signature jumpsuit was present in black, toffee and stonewashed acid green denim. African prints were customised with microphone and fan motifs. The real wow factor? A lipstick red one-shoulder cocktail dress.
Easy sports luxe pieces came in the form of parachute silk full skirts worn with boxy, oversized T-shirts, parka coats and mirrored sunglasses. While some looks were muted in color, black, navy, cream and terracotta were high on the agenda – African-inspired prints featuring motifs of a microphone and flowers were used on voluminous dresses and skirts and really lifted the palette.
- Louis Vuitton
Nicolas Ghesquière delivered a powerful collection that blended his signature sportswear with 18th-century costume references.He showed his SS18 Louis Vuitton collection in the medieval foundations of the Louvre Palace in the basement of the Louvre museum. Billowing sleeved tops and embroidered waistcoats that laced up at the back were inspired by 18th century French aristocratic garments and Louis XIV, the Sun King. The pairing of brocade frock coats and trainers was an unexpected twist, blurring the lines between past and present.
His collection was full of interesting designs, models wore sneakers with floor-length sheer gowns and simple pastel track shorts were paired with Victorian-inspired riding jackets that featured ornate brocade embroidery. Ghesquière also showed plenty of horizontal stripes, cuffed denim, billowy blouses, silver pants and did all fans of comfort a huge favor by disproving the long-held belief that wearing sneakers with everything is strictly reserved for middle-aged dads.
Among the metallic dresses and floral blouses Nicolas Ghesquière sent down the Louis Vuitton Spring 2018 was a single Stranger Things T-shirt—layered over a flowery top and pink pants. It wasn’t just the only graphic tee featured on the runway, but it was also the only reference to the hit Netflix series in the entire collection.