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Paris Fashion Week Roundup II: Chanel, YSL, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Dries Van Noten

Karl Lagerfeld makes hay with a show inspired by Marie-Antoinette’s Hameau (the pastoral retreat where she used to take her lovers), and Alexander McQueen offers a cerebral take on evolution, playing with alien, insect, and sea creature themes…. Plus the most bizarre shoes I’ve ever seen…

Karl Lagerfeld makes hay with a show inspired by Marie-Antoinette’s Hameau (the pastoral retreat where she used to take her lovers), and Alexander McQueen offers a cerebral take on evolution, playing with alien, insect, and sea creature themes…. Plus the most bizarre shoes I’ve ever seen. This and other highlights in the second half of our Paris Fashion Week roundup.

CHANEL

I never thought I would see the Chanel logo printed on a burlap sack, as it was on the benches at the Grand Palais for Karl Lagerfeld’s Marie Antoinette inspired romp.  He showed countrified flare dresses with high heeled clogs (packrats may still have a pair lurking from the 90s). Then Lily Allen literally rose from the floor to sing her hit, “Not Fair.” And at the end, models Lara Stone and Freja Beha acted out a love story that had them lying in the hay with Baptiste Giabiconi. What a spectacle!

YVES SAINT LAURENT

Night time at the Palais de Tokyo sounds like it should be the name of a perfume, but in fact it was the time and location of the YSL show this year. The brand served champagne, there were red decorative panels and dim, sexy lighting. There were attractive YSL employees with slicked hair and slicker clothes.  Somehow the sexy setting seemed off when the girly and flirty looks (like a white cotton dress with strawberry appliques) came down the runway. Since when has Stefano Pilati forgotten that sex sells? 

VALENTINO

After a debut show that paid homage to Valentino last season, the design duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli really made their own statement with the brand. That meant modern, shorter looks in a beautiful palette of stone, putty, and bronze colors.  

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

This show made fashion history, as it was broadcast live to the world and spectacularly produced by Nick Knight of ShowStudio. McQueen’s dresses were technical works of art, but the biggest special effect is that with hulking shoes strapped to their feet, none of the models fell.

DRIES VAN NOTEN

A friend of mine described Paris Fashion Week as a sort of washing machine. By the end of the week, you have new ideas about who is up and down, in and out. Well, I’m here to tell you that I may have reached my career pinnacle this week. You see it really is all about who you know, and after the Dries Van Noten show, I was introduced to the chicest of guests. He’s an Airedale Terrier and his name is Harry, and yes, he’s Dries Van Noten’s dog. 

The clothes? Van Noten was back in a decorative vein, with a feminine, worldly blend of influences from China, Southeast Asia, and Japan.

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