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Exuberance and Restraint: Louis Vuitton, Chloe, and Martin Grant

Well, sports fans, we have made it to the end of something exhilarating, maddening, frivolous, and momentous: another fashion month has ended! I plan on taking a restorative weekend in which I will stay far away from high heels, but I’ll be back here next week with input from…

Well, sports fans, we have made it to the end of something exhilarating, maddening, frivolous, and momentous: another fashion month has ended! I plan on taking a restorative weekend in which I will stay far away from high heels, but I’ll be back here next week with input from Chicago retailers. In the meantime, the last few days of show brought some great fashion.

LOUIS VUITTON

Anyone who happened to be in the Cour Carée of the Louvre at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday could have seen glimpses of the Vuitton show: invitees sat on pink chairs in a clear plastic tent like exotic plants.

The first look came out: a mini hoop skirt dress with a black lace sheer bust. It was pink! It was lacy! It was sort of Versailles and sort of ’80s! Marc Jacobs told reporters backstage he was in a “let them eat cake” mood. Was he thinking of his friend Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette when he designed this collection? I also liked styling touches that played on the coquettish formality of Versailles, such as pink swaths of silk tied at the waist of a black dress, or the yellow flower on the back shoulder blade of a ruched grey one.

The show was a bit kinky, as indicated by several models in satin Playboy bunny ears. (The much talked about, blogged about, and twittered about flourish can be credited to stylist queen Katie Grand.) The entire show had great accessories. Standouts included velvet ribboned boots that laced up the back like a corset, and necklaces that looked like a child’s paper garland.

CHLOE

Now in her second season designing for the label, Hannah MacGibbon showed a lot of those high waisted pleated pants that are really the “truc preferé” on the French style blogs right now. Garance Doré proclaims to feel “like Lauren Hutton 2.0” when she wears them. It takes a high level of fashionista to pull this off without looking like a vagabond or Charlie Chaplin. The standout of the show were over the knee suede boots.  Trend alert: you are going to want over-the-knee boots. They are everywhere.

MARTIN GRANT

A few readers have asked me about the cost-saving measures I’ve noticed this season. Well, sure, there are cuts all over the place, but no one wants the actual designs to suffer, so they come in other places: there are fewer parties; there are simple paper invites where once there were Laduree chocolate boxes or designer keychains; there are newer venues that are griped about; editors who once had drivers are taking taxis. It’s very rough, you see. (In all seriousness, there is of course a general sobriety that is palpable.)

As a cost cutting measure, Martin Grant had his presentation at their showroom in the Marais rather than staging a runway show. And you know what? I liked it better! How nice to see everything up close. Grant designs the kind of timeless clothes you have for years, and it’s so clear that the quality has not changed. Knockout silhouettes came in structured dresses with belts, and coats with standup collars.

Chloe photos courtesy of Style.com

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