Monday, March 16, 2009

In review: Paris Fashion Week

A still from Gareth Pugh's video for his Fall 2009 collection

It’s hard to boil Paris Fashion Week down into a brief summary - or pick only three collections to discuss - but if one must, she would come away from it sensing an exuberance in the exaggerated shapes and detail that felt both dark and optimistic. If anything, it was diametrically opposed to New York Fashion Week, which presented more stripped-down, pragmatic collections.

Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2009 line for Louis Vuitton was romantic and edgy at the same time. It was reminiscent of Christian Lacroix of the '80s, and it's no surprise that Jacobs says he was inspired by Parisian women. The shapes, the sheerness, the shoes! Everything looked immaculate.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2009, courtesy New York Magazine

Meanwhile, Gareth Pugh showed his collection in video form instead of on the runway. Everything is worn by one model (Natasa Vojnovic), and it had an overall effect that was surprisingly more graceful and soft than the all-out aggressiveness we’ve come to know Pugh for. The video, though in itself perhaps a sign of the ailing global economy, seemed to push Fashion Week forward into the future, while helping exhibit a new side to Pugh's clothing.

Video stills from Gareth Pugh's Fall 2009 collection

The highlight, though, was Alexander McQueen’s extravagant take on his past collections were styled with saran wrap headwear and freakish red wax-esque lips. A little bit of this and a scrap of that had the overall effect as a Grey-Gardens-esque couture bag lady. Against all odds in this economy, it showed that beauty can still exist.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2009, courtesy

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