Everything You Need To Know About Paris Fashion Week

Everything You Need To Know About Paris Fashion Week

The last leg of fashion month is here and we've got all the gossip...

Dior's Stunning AW'16 Show
Dior's Stunning AW'16 Show

Gigi Is Giambattista's Girl

Gigi Hadid modelled a new, pretty divisive beauty trend at Giambattista Valli; glitter brows. With her hair slicked back, the model was make-up free apart from the glitter arch underneath her eyebrows, making for  pretty striking look. 

Gigi Hadid on the catwalk at Giambattista Valli AW16 Gigi Hadid led the model charge at Giambattista Valli AW16

No doubt one of fashion's current tour de forces, Gigi led the model squad down the catwalk as they showed off frothy frocks, elaborate appliqué, sheer layers and chiffon frills. Everything from the long, floor sweeping skirts to the furry outerwear oozed femininity; the very essence of Valli's work. 

It looks like since walking for him last season, Gigi has become Valli's new muse, and the focus was certainly on her during this AW16 show. It makes sense; Gigi seems to embody Giambattista's ideal girl. She is at once feminine, a conventional beauty and yet, at the same time, she is enitrely contemporary and unique. Plus, her extensive social media following will undoubtedly help introduce a younger audience to Valli's work. Something tells us they're going to like it. 

Balenciaga's New Era

Balenciaga AW16 Balenciaga's new designer is the creative force behind Vetements, Demna Gvasalia, who brought his signature brand of street wear to the historic fashion label, but with a pure couture twist

If there's one show that managed to dominate the talk heard on the streets of Paris, it's undoubtedly Balenciaga. As Demna Gvasalia prepared to make his debut at the historic fashion house, the industry contemplated what this hip, master of streetwear might have up his sleeve. As the creative force behind cult (and we mean cult) label Vetements, Gvasalia is the man responsible for taking the hoodie from humble to haute- quite literally- and creating a pair of jeans which have been labelled 'demi-couture' thanks to their £800 price tag. They are currently sold out. 

The hype, then, was certainly on Gvasalia's side, as he prepared to fill the shoes of Alexander Wang and, indeed, the house's founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga- or as Dior called him, "master of us all". In fact, Gvasalia paid close attention to Balenciaga's own approach, studying the archives and focusing on the legendary designer's couture conventions. The result? A collection comprised of wonderful contradictions, which managed to simultaneously nod to the past while also creating a very contemporary aesthetic; one which fused together the highly desirable, street wear approach of Vetements with high-end, couture craftsmanship. 

Balenciaga AW16 From structured to loose silhouettes, the AW16 collection was full of little contradictions which managed to fuse nostalgia with modernity

While there were highly structured skirt suits, there were also loose flowing floral dresses, practical puffa jackets which were pulled down past shoulders to give a very couture-esque silhouette, and plays with proportion- cropped denim jackets over long-line shirts and folded, pleat-front skirts. 

Without a doubt, a new era is upon us. And whether it's at Vetements or Balenciaga, it looks as though Demna Gvasalia is leading the charge. 

By Hannah Banks-Walker

Playful Punk At Isabel Marant

This season Isabel Marant turned her back on her typical Parisian Bobo roots and looked to us Brits for some style inspo. Thanks to tartan patterning, patent leather, studs and a dash of exotic animal print thrown in for good measure, the collection hinted at the style reminiscent of London’s punk spirit. Even the accessories were rock ‘n’ roll in their own right: safety-pin earrings, pin badges, padlock necklaces and fishnet tights… yup, it’s time to get yourself down Camden market ladies!

Punk Rock Took Over The Catwalk At Isabel Marant Punk Rock Took Over The Catwalk At Isabel Marant

H&M Welcomes Diveristy To PFW

We didn’t think we could possibly love H&M more until we heard about its AW16 Studio show. Not only were we blown away by the fashion (we can’t wait to get our hands on one of those hats), the brand had also rounded up some of the biggest and best names in the world of modelling including 65-year old (and runway veteran) Pat Cleveland, plus-size babe Ashley Graham and transgender model Andreja Pejic to name but a few. Read our full report on the runway spectacle here

H&M AW16 show Ashley Graham and Pat Cleveland Model For H&M At PFW

Ladylike Luxe at Christian Dior

The words ladylike, sophisticated and chic come to mind when viewing the Christian Dior AW16 show. Tailored silhouettes and alluring, shoulder-skimming necklines combined with clashing prints and embellished details were seen on the catwalk while the front row was also brimming with as much eye-catching activity. Jessica Alba, Emmy Rossum, Toni Garrn and Rosamund Pike were in attendance, all dressed in statement scarlet looks channeling the elegant sex appeal we saw in the show.

 Models Posing Backstage At The Dior AW16 Show

SEE: What Jessica Alba Wore To The Dior Show At PFW

 Ladies In Red: Toni Garrn, Emmy Rossum and Rosamund Pike at Dior

Balmain’s Army Gets Wiggy

Oliver Rousteing took a risk; making his superstar models wear wigs meant that not only were they pretty much unrecognisable, but it also caused such a stir that the focus could have been taken away from the clothes. It could have, but it didn’t. Thankfully, Oliver’s AW16 collection for fashion house Balmain created just as much of a statement as his model army. Of course, Balmain’s signature bodycon shape was very much a key part of the collection thanks to sheer body-stocking dresses, over-sized structured waist belts and snug, skin-tight, thigh-high boots. 

 Kendall, Karlie and Gigi Had A Drastic Hair Transformation For Balmain's AW16 Show

SEE: Gigi And Kendall Swap Hair At Balmain

Classic Chloe

It wouldn’t be a Chloe catwalk without the appearance of a skinny silk scarf or two and there were plenty to choose from in the AW16 show, accessorising head-to-toe motorcross leather ensembles and heavy shearling coats. Aside from these tough masculine looks were Chloe’s signature feminine floaty peasant dresses and romantic ruffled chiffon shirts creating a cool contrast.   

 Chloe's Bohemian Nomad Inspired Show

SS16 Show Coverage:

Anna Wintour's run-in with prankster Vitalii Sediuk

Vogue editor Anna Wintour is not often flustered, but she found herself the victim of a silly Paris Fashion Week prank played by Vitalii Sediuk yesterday. With the whole scene being captured on video (watch it here), Anna was accosted by Sediuk as she was leaving the Chanel SS16 show. Sediuk managed to slip through the barrier holding the crowds back and ran over to throw a 'peace' sign at the fashion legend before being grabbed by multiple security guards after just a few seconds. Luckily, Wintour kept her cool and simply gave a small smile during the whole awkward situation. Vitalli has previously pranked the likes of Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt on the red carpet.

Anna Wintour is pranked by Vitalii Sediuk whilst leaving the Chanel SS16 show... Anna Wintour is pranked by Vitalii Sediuk whilst leaving the Chanel SS16 show...

Gigi's Giambattista Moment

Gigi Hadid has been cementing her supermodel status on some of the most prestigious catwalks during the last few weeks. She's now followed the fashion crowd to Paris, where she's been spotted walking for Balmain, Elie Saab and, most recently, Giambattista Valli. Known for his showstopping dresses, he's the designer responsible for those huge, frothy gowns that were the talk of Instagram last season (with even bigger gowns the season before that). But for SS16, the mian talking point wasn't the size of the dresses, it was Gigi's spectacular finale. 

Gigi Hadid on the Giambattista Valli catwalk Gigi closed the Giambattista Valli show in spectacular style

While the rest of the collection was typically ornate with embroidered skirts, dresses, decorative floral prints and luxe textures, it was Gigi's sheer sunny yellow floor-sweeper that stole the show, complete with an embellished waist and very plunging neckline. With her hair left loose and tousled, she was every inch the California babe we've come to know and love. With some of the biggest fashion houses still to show, including Chanel, we bet we can expect even more Gigi on the catwalk. And thank goodness for that. 

Gigi Hadid and fellow model backstage at Giambattista Valli Gigi poses backstage with another model from the Giambattista Valli show

McQueen's Gallic Romance

Sarah Burton showed a softer side of McQueen for SS16, taking the house's signature aesthetic and draping it in romanticism and light. Inspired by the Hugenot migrants of the 17th Century, who fled from France to Britain and worked in London's Spitalfields, producing fine silks, Burton said: "I love the stories of how they arrivedwith very little... And they wove their French flowers into the patterns on their silks." The designer used these exact techniques in her own collection, painting roses and forget-me-nots onto long gowns and supple, cropped leather jackets with frilled edges. 

Alexander McQueen SS16 Sarah Burton took inspiration from 17th Century silk weavers and applied their French floral prints to her McQueen gowns

There were hints of that classic McQueen darkness seen in sheer dresses cut close to the body and silver chains that gave a nod to bondage, but overall it was romantic sensuality that pervaded. Elaborately constructed dresses made of tiered chiffons and silks, embroidered denim and feather trims made for showstopping creations, but with a greater subtlety than we've seen from past collections. 

There was also a deeply personal note to the collection; Alexander McQueen apparently traced his ancestry back to the Hugenot refugees who arrived in Britain, giving Burton's collection a heightened sense of emotion. While she has achieved great things at McQueen since she took the helm, this felt like a slightly new direction for the brand. One that was loyal to McQueen's legacy but that felt more personal, more feminine in many ways. You could say it was a kind of renaissance for Alexander McQueen. 

A Power-Dressing Lesson With Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret Roland Mouret championed power-dressing with his SS16 collection

Proving that he is worthy of his world-renowed dress-making status, Roland Mouret's SS16 collection presented power-dressing at its absolute best. Indeed, the collection consisted of frocks that were as complex in their construction as they were flattering to the models. Fluid tailoring in feminine kick-flare dresses served as the highlight of the show, shortly followed by a fresh approach to asymmetric crops and sensual tiered midi skirts all in a palette of bright mandarins, deep purples and navies.

Of course, Mouret was careful to consider every element of a woman's spring/summer wardrobe; classic shirts, simple plunging tees and long-sleeved shoulder-baring tops also made an appearance on the runway. With his loyal fan base including Scarlett Johansson and the Duchess of Cambridge in mind, however, there was just one thing the designer neglected to include: a trouser.  

You can now shop the full collection right here: www.rolandmouret.com/ss16 

Gothic Glam With Masha Ma

Masha ma Masha Ma's SS16 collection came realised in gothic glam

Since making her Paris Fashion Week debut in 2011, Chinese fashion designer Masha Ma has gone from strength to strength. And much akin with her previous collections, the designer’s SS16 show was an all-round crowd-pleaser. Heavy smoky eyes, greasy locks and dewy skin underpinned each look, which came of a similar gothic glam effect. Fringed waist belts, oversized black PVC jackets and mesh tees paired with ‘60s tattoo chokers pioneered the theme, while bold boxy metallic co-ords came as a welcome change to the otherwise dreary collection. On the whole, the show proposed an appealing opportunity to shun over-dressing and embrace chilled gothic glam with open arms.

Céline Sophistication

Celine fashion week Celine's SS16 show combined traditional feminism with androgyny

Against a backdrop of sunkissed yellows, oranges and deep blues was where this afternoon’s Céline show unfolded. “I’m someone who thinks a lot about how clothes make us feel,” said designer Phoebe Philo backstage, “of how they make me feel.” And it was that, teamed with her unprecedented attention to detail that made for the absolutely flawless collection that followed.

A combination of feminine silk petticoats edged with fine lace and masculine oversized plaid trousers and jackets lead the collection, closing with chic nude silk slips. As for colour, beiges, blacks and khakis akin with the label’s traditional style nous pioneered each look. And the FROW? Anna Wintour and Juergen Teller were among those who sat witness to the event.

An Emanuel Ungaro Love Affair

Emanuel Ungaro Paris Fashion Week Emanuel Ungaro's Paris Fashion Week epitomised sultry feminism

If it’s sultry femininity you’re after, Emanuel Ungaro’s SS16 collection is just the ticket. As with Sicilian designer Fausto Puglisi’s Resort 2016 collection, what came of the latest show grasped the brand’s trademarks – ruching, chemise, ruffles and ultrafeminine frocks – but came combined with “modern versions of Neapolitan dressing”; the idea being that the pieces are what a woman would usually wear behind closed doors. To this effect, Puglisi took pretty chemise silks in white, pink and black and reimagined them into bodice-like structures complete with harness and all. Of course, the brand’s signature elegance remained apparent in a series of flawless sheer metallic frocks embellished with delicate pink petals. We are utterly spellbound. 

A Moroccan Getaway With Kenzo

Kenzo paris fashion week Kenzo's SS16 show transported guests to a Moroccan-inspired paradise

Fusing photography, dance, film, music and language, Kenzo’s creativity makes for one of the most Instagram-worthy runway shows season upon season, and its spring/summer ‘16 spectacle was no exception. Held in a unique location that could have easily been mistaken for a tropical Moroccan riad, designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim dreamt up bold digitalised patterns in hues of blue, yellow, white and red on loose-fitting frocks and co-ords, paired with knee-high leather cut-out sandals. All in all, the collection did not deviate from its usual outlandish approach to fashion – one we’re sure the brand’s cult celebrity following will be quick to snap up. We just can’t wait to see who will be first.



Guillaume Henry's Nina Ricci Transformation


In just five years, Guillaume Henry transformed Carven into something amazing, and since taking the reins from Peter Copping as creative director of Nina Ricci, the brand stands in pretty good stead for an equally successful overhaul. For the label's autumn/winter '15 collection, Henry created a collection encompassing both the signature femininity of the brand, and a fresher, more modern feel.


Nina Ricci paris fashion week Actress Romy Schneider was the muse for Nina Ricci's SS16 sow


Now, after much anticipation, Mr Henry has done it again. The spring/summer 16 show took place last night, with more A-list FROW-ers than we could keep count of in attendance (fashion directors Grace Coddington and Carolina Issa included). This time, actress Romy Schneider and 90's models were Guillaume's muses, realised in structured silhouettes, vinyl coats and mesh tops. If we had to sum the show up, two words come to mind: modern simplicity. 


Kendall Jenner And Gigi Hadid Steal The Show At Elie Saab


Kendall was a gothic vision as she floated down the runway in a full-length black embellished number, closely followed by model pal Gigi Hadid, whose winning look included a statement striped bomber jacket. 

The collection was a sea of sheer fabrics, pussy bow-detailing, playful spring separates and stunning evening gowns - with Lily Donaldson modelling a stand-out red dress. 



Vivienne Westwood's Gold Label PFW Showcase



The English-born fashion designer has already got everyone talking with these fabulously bizarre designs, including a stunning veil with facial-feature embellishments. 


Who would have thought we'd be seeing a hung-up coat strutting its stuff down the runway?




Sequins And Shine At Lanvin


Lanvin's SS16 show was unapologetically glamourous, feminine and fun. Alber Elbaz's OTT collection included sequin suit jackets, pop art printed minis and ruffled cocktail dresses. Bling was big with chandelier earrings, oversized necklaces and bows and corsages draped in gems all appearing. Style statement dressing at its very best - we love.


Lanvin SS16 Ladylike glamour at Lanvin


We're Coveting Chloe (Again)


We don't know how Clare Waight Keller does it, but she does. Season after season. We're of course talking about The Chloe Effect, which is the ability to design collections that everyone wants to wear. Case in point; this summer's array of crochet, lace dresses, sweeping maxis and boho accessories, seen on everyone from Alexa Chung to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and seen everywhere from the streets of London to the Coachella field. And, for SS16, Clare Waight Keller has done it again. 


Chloe spring summer 2016 The multi-coloured showstoppers are sure to be on the wishlists of our favourite trendsetters already

Chloe's bohemian spirit was firmly intact, but this time there were injections of sportswear that felt fresh, wearable and oh-so-desirable. 90s sports jackets were paired with long, floral skirts; side-stripe trousers were worn with plunging, halterneck tops held together by straps tied in bows. Lace trims, khaki harem pants, raw-edged denim and billowing, rainbow-striped gowns were just some of the pieces that made us swoon. Last season's white crochet minis were re-worked, too, while the finale showstoppers came in the form of ice-cream cloured dresses, scattered with tassels. Expect to see this entire collection on just about every blogger, A-lister and festival goer come spring. 


Chloe's SS16 collection mixed sportswear with the fashion house's signature boho aesthetic



Dries Does Elegant Opulence


Dries Van Noten SS16 show An explosion of pattern, colour and ruffles at the Dries Van Noten SS16 show 

Dries Van Noten’s SS16 collection was an explosion of colour and pattern and a mash up of shapes. A lesson in layering, the models walked the runway in a combo of oversized coats, billowing trousers and eighties style silk shirts with bras worn on the outside. Beautiful abstract brocade patterns in gorgeous jewel tones appeared throughout and attention to detail was paid with the addition of forties style sunglasses, printed body stockings and popping colour platforms. 


Dries Van Noten SS16 Hot pink bras and silk shirts seen at the Dries Van Noten SS16 show


Galliano's Geisha Girls For Maison Margiela 


Maison Margiela SS16 Galliano's punky take on fifties


For Margiela's SS16 collection, Galliano gave us ladylike dressing with a beautifully trashy twist. 1950’s shapes - including sloping shoulder jackets, nipped-at-the-waist skirts and embellished dresses - were mixed up with safety pin blouses and fishnets. Using a mixture of male and female models, the looks were completed with beehive hairdos, punk inspired makeup and nods to Japenese geisha girls. It was Galliano at his finest. 


Paris Fashion Week: Why we're excited...

1. Balmain Army:

Having recently unveiled Gigi, Kendall and Jourdan as the faces of Balmain’s H&M collaboration, we’re dying to see which models Olivier Rousteing will have walking this season’s runway. Last season saw the likes of Kendall, Gigi and Jourdan accompanied by Karlie Kloss, Lily Donaldson and Anna Ewers, so we’re not quite sure how he will live up to expectations..

2. Street Style:

As well as the runway shows, we’re chomping at the bit to see what the fash-pack will be wearing to attend Paris Fashion Week. If last season is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat!   

3. The Location:

Paris comes as a welcome change to the industrialised backdrops of London, New York and Milan. And while the city as a whole is beautiful enough, Paris Fashion Week is held at one totally flawless venue: the Carrousel du Louvre. Yep, the Louvre museum's underground shopping mall will resume its role as the host to Paris Fashion Week’s catwalk shows.

4. The Row Will Show At Paris Fashion Week:

To show their label, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have traded in their usual New York spot for one at Paris. This isn’t the first time the twins have unexpectedly decamped for Paris - they also demoted New York as the showing spot for their spring 2011 collection. 

5. Wang Will Show His Final Balenciaga Collection:

After a three year stint, American designer Alexander Wang has announced that this season will be the last time he will show a collection in collaboration with Balenciaga. The usual shows are always pretty headline-worthy, but we reckon this one will go out with an even bigger bang.

6. Paris Will Get A Makeover:

To mark the occasion, the city will be decked in posters marked “Fashion Loves Paris”, while the Eiffel Tower will transform into a special shimmery light show every Wednesday. Just when we thought the city couldn’t be any more romantic..