Paris Fashion Week Reviews – SS’13

By Linah Hashmi

Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs brought 50s coolness down LV’s escalator-clad runway, Models came in twos in checkered outfits that looked like well, floor tiles, mostly in bright yellow so now you had clothes to go with your checkered LV bags – how fun. But not all hope was lost as there were some wearable outfits like the beautiful floral print and pattern on suede pieces.










Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen runway was inspired by – bees! And while the dresses definitely stung and amused us with all the dramatic work which fit Alexander’s, I didnt quite like the bee-keeper’s veils that looked more like lamp shades! But still better than Giorgio Armani’s lids!











Valentino’s much awaited paris fashion show charmed everyone with its covered up allure! The designers said that the Rome of their memories was the inspiration behind the collection and through these looks they made us live those memories as if we were there!
Conservative yet sexy, sophisticated embroidered long gowns, to-die-for coats, Just how us middle-easterns like it! It was timeless elegance, and you just couldn’t help but fall in love. Bellissima! Definitely my number one show at PFW. Lucky Sheikha Mozah who without a doubt will be the first one to wear these beauties!
A total white lace full-sleeves long gown was one of my best looks.











Transparent hats and lots of feathers were part of Chanel’s 80s theme runway looks. (Seems the 70s and 80s were a major trend at Milan & Paris Fashion weeks.) And While I would shoot myself If I ever saw that DIY hula-hoop bag (what was he thinking?) again, Karl’s ‘sustainable energy theme’ giant turbines set-up was extradordinary, brilliant More than the clothes, that needed applause. The King definitely knows how to make a statement – so Ill forgive him for that hula-hoop bag. His final series of strapless white dresses, with featured flowers embroidered and beaded, were my favourite.








Miu Miu

Sporty chic outfits with fur coats & leather gloves for next spring/summer? Yes, thats what Miu Miu’s runway was about because maybe just maybe you might freeze in the summer? So if you wanted to stand out, now you definitely will.










Elie Saab

While LV’s game of checkers made your head spin and Miu Miu’s fur-filled summer got us confused, Elie Saab knew how to bring us back to earth…or was it heaven, by doing what it does best – charming regal attires! The designer appropriately chose “heiress” as his spring theme. His was definitely my best runway from PFWs final day!





Saint Laurent

While Versace did hippy chic the Italian way, Hedi Slimane did it the french way, going back to what Yves Saint Laurent did in the 70s for hippy rock chicks, and still holding on to the signature DNAs with big bow blouses, printed maxi dresses, tailored suits but tighter, and sheer fabrics. With wide-brimmed hats and  bohemian looks, Slimane mixed a bit of his California obsession in the collection. I like how Hedi played it smart, especially after chopping off ‘Yves’, re-branding the logo and coming under so much criticism, and a rock & roll ad campaign that looked nothing like what the house stands for, noone knew what to expect on the runway. Yet he stayed close to Mr. Saint Laurent’s core design ethos. Although his sheer printed maxi dresses were similar to what Stefano Pilati did for YSLs last spring summer show, I hate to admit I liked his collection. And so did the buyers, especially the middle-east ones as similar to Gucci and Valentino, some of these looks were perfect for the conservative chic arabs. Ok Hedi, you have my vote!
Kate Moss, Salma Hayek, Alber Elbaz and Diane Von Furstenburg were some of the guests of his front rows.


After the departure of Antonio Marras from the house a few seasons ago, and a poor first collection from its new designers, there was uncertainty about Kenzo’s performance, with pressure on Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to revive the brand back to the Kenzo Takada days. At the last presentation that I personally attended, the designer duo failed to meet the expectations of the editors and buyers alike and the collection was shockingly poor (referring to their SS12 presentation). So this season saw a much improved collection and everyone could breathe a sigh of relief when the designers went back to the roots of Kenzo with a Japanese Jungle theme. Safari jackets, camo and jumpsuits were reinterpreted into off-the-shoulder dresses and high-waisted pleated trousers with a play on animal print & bright colors. Still not the best but much better.










Jean Paul Gaultier

JPG paid tribute to the 80s and showed you how to rock it in style! All your favourite iconic music legends, er look-alikes, came alive at his runway and made you want to rock& roll the night away! There was Grace Jones, Annie lennox, (Boy) George, Bowie, Madonna and my favourite Michael Jackson. Those born after the 80s will never understand how much fun it was! One of the best looks had to be the printed pastel maxi (as worn by Boy George)! So if you ever dreamed about reliving the day of glory, now you can!











Balmain was well, so Balmain! With leather pants, deep cleavage & statement blazers, Olivier Rousteing ‘s Latin theme runway with Cuba as an inspiration, still stayed true to Balmain’s signature style, with a bit of nineties glam via those major shoulders. I always thought he was a brilliant young designer and his collection proved just that!










Christian Dior

For his debut runway, Raf Simons’ collection included sheer skin-tight tops tucked into voluminous glazed floral skirts, sailor striped dresses in pink and black, strapless frocks in gauzy layers. Colorful, young, subtly sexy and sophisticated, I did like the collection. It was definitely prettier than his couture collection he showed in July, and after that big-bird mess with Julianne Moore at the Emmys, I was hoping not to see more of that! So the verdict is not guilty! Having said that I am still team Galliano and will always miss his amazingness at Dior.












Alber Elbaz and Lanvin are a match made in heaven. If there’s one thing he knows how to do, it’s never failing to impress! His flawless outfits make girls swoon. At his show Alber presented sophisticated, powerfully sexy looks that screamed femme fatale. There’s just something about the way he cuts and drapes, that make his outfits fall perfectly in sync with a woman’s body!












This season Balenciaga moved away from its signature styles and went with a sexy, modern elegance theme with cropped tops, dramatic flamenco ruffle skirts which were my favourite! Known for its futuristic geometric shapes and unique shapes, this was definitely an unexpected move but it still worked. There was only one flaw though sitting in the front row, Kristen Stewart! Its ridiculous enough that Nicolas picked her as the face of the new Balenciaga perfume – She’s nothing like what such a high end classic brand stands for, (I would much rather see a beautiful European model represent a brand like Balenciaga than Hollywood stars) and now she’s sitting at his shows!