Paris Fashion Week By the Numbers
While the dust settles on a doozy of a Paris Fashion Week, we’re scrambling to take stock of it all. Perhaps, some simple arithmetic will do the trick? Add up the freshest looks, subtract most Kimye references (#nodisrespecttobenaffleck), multiply our love for Broadway-worthy fashion shows, et voila: Paris S/S 14!
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Amid calls for more diversity on the runways, Owens skipped the usual casting session with 5’11", size 2 models and instead booked members of four college step teams. Staring down the crowd with their fiercest “grit faces”(expressions intended to intimidate the competition), the women delivered an exhuberant performance of pounding, percussive dance moves that galvanized the jaded fashion flock.
Check out a video of the full show here
Two topless members of the Ukrainian protest group, Femen, burst onto the Nina Ricci runway, causing a brief melee before being wrestled offstage by a handsy security guard. Protesting, well, we’re not exactly sure what, one woman had scrawled “model don’t go to brothels” across her torso while the other opted for a bit of word play with “fashion dictaterror.” A look at Femen’s website reveals bare-chested activism is their schtick. In other words, perhaps the mammary gland is the message?
It’s official. Spring’s It sandal is the flat platform (ahem, again). We counted no less than ten collections— including Dries Van Noten, Chloe, and Sacai (pictured)—that featured the shoe. And that, of course, was just in Paris. New York designers like Tibi and Rag & Bone also seem to have developed a (flat) foot fetish.
'Twas the seasons for elaborate set designs, but Givenchy’s still managed to stand out from the pack. In homage to the show’s theme—a “crash” of cultures—designer Riccardo Tisci erected a five-car collision as the runway centerpiece. Of course, given the context, a modest junk heap of, say, Pontiac Azteks, would not do. Rather, Tisci styled a smoking snarl of vintage Jaguars, Mercedes, and BMWs. The impressive installation almost stole the spotlight from Kim Kardashian’s front-row cleavage. Almost.
Backstage at Givenchy meanwhile, makeup artist Pat McGrath and her team spent a whopping 12 hours encrusting the faces of models with rhinestones, sequins, and the occasional scrap of netting. While McGarth’s genius here is undeniable, the models also deserve some serious credit. We can barely sit still for a full episode of Homeland…
Given her former gig as the Beauty Director of Teen Vogue, we always knew Chen was something of a product junkie, but the degree of her devotion is really next level. The items pictured are the contents of only one of the cosmetics bag she packed, one out of three. In other words, Chen is like a walking Sephora—impressive, to say the least!
A major Azzedine Alaia retrospective at the Palais Galliera in the Musée de la Mode opened just in time to upstage Paris Fashion Week all together. “It’s beyond words—really brilliant,” Grace Coddington told the press of the exhibit, which features 70 designs (all hand-made) culled from personal collections. For his part, Alaia was so enthusiastic about the show that he skipped a S/S 14 presentation and instead devoted his time to restoring all the pieces to mint condition.
Let the Muppets have Manhattan, Paris has been overrun by a far chicer species of beast. Meet the Fendi Monsters ($700): adorable fur charms seen dangling from designer bags up and down the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Despite their hefty price tags, these little guys seem to be going fast, so if you want to score one on this side of the pond, you’d be wise to act now.
The Brit beauty was by far the most ubiquitous face on the Paris S/S 14 runways, with Chanel, Valentino, Stella McCartney, and Saint Laurent all requesting her services. However, it was her turn opening Marc Jacob’s epic (and final) Louis Vuitton show that cemented her next-big-thing status.
Dusting off his famous flair for theatrics, Jean Paul Gaultier staged his show as a TV-style dance competition, with models busting a move before a panel of fussy judges. Coca Rocha did her best Danny Zuko impression (which was actually pretty good) in a Grease sendup, Joan Smalls swayed to the rhumba, and Hannelore Knuts got pulses racing with a sexy tango. But it was Karlie Kloss who stole the show with a Vogue-ing number that spotlighted her Amazonian physique.
See a video of the full show here
Last season’s Kenzo sweatshirt craze continued its street style reign—although Celine double-face cashmere dresses and Nike high-tops also made multiple appearances—with the ubiquitous Tiger Marls ($294) joining forces with the newer K ($260) and Eye ($275) prints. An on-trend piece that doubles as a comfy, couch-surfing staple? Sign us up.
We’re all for a nude lip and hint of blush real life, but on the runway, we crave bold, out-of-the-box beauty. Kudos to Chanel’s makeup artist, Peter Philips, for giving it to us vis-à-vis dramatic brushstroke eyes in bright pigments. And honorable mention goes to Christian Dior’s gold lame brows and Comme des Garcons' tar-smudged lips. We’re not likely to attempt either look anytime soon, but we’ve filed them under “gorgeous inspiration.”