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B-Girls, Bralets And Lots Of Square - Paris Fashion Week Morsel 1

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Whilst the fashion week jitney might be shuddering a little now that the end of the glorious ready-to-wear ride is almost in sight, there’s nothing like the Paris shows to give cobbles-sore heels a bit of a boost.  With everyone from Lanvin to Laroche, Balmain to Balenciaga showing in the City of Light, this is the week when fashion pulses everywhere start to palpitate to angina-like levels.  Oh and did we mention that this is also the week of Chanel?  We love you Karl and your little Choupette too.

Cedric Charlier 

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Tuesday saw Cedric Charlier’s second eponymous collection since leaving the helm at Cacharel after four seasons, and it’s still a surprise to us that the brain that produced this series of fresh, masculine feminine tailoring, sophisticated shapes and sleek contours has a history at a house of such femininity and all out girlyness. 

Asymmetric cutting and androgynous tailoring created a subtle allure in his SS13 show and the signatures of black, white and red finished up with abstract paint prints, kept it simple but far from plain.  There was no shortage of sexy, from plunging necklines to shoulder enhancing cut-ins, skin skimming tailoring and sheer layers.  Every girl wore thin shin warmers like light armour, and a hawk-like painted band of bright red and blue over the eyebrows gave the show a feel of an invasion by the Charlier tribe.  Resistance is futile.

Guy Laroche

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Peppermint green was the enduring memory from Guy Laroche on Wednesday – peppermint green and vixen eyes combined with shoes that looked as if they had tail feathers on the toes.  Graphic diamond prints in that pervasive peppermint or pinky grey ran all over shorts suits, delivered panel definition on ladylike dresses, and looked marvelously matchy all over.  We loved the bandeau under tailoring combos; we’re going to buy them all and wear a different one every day to work.


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The Rochas show had fashion aces in spades, kicking things off with a futuristic tennis team in sporty skirts, polo tees and lace-up wrestler booties, while scarlet lips brought sexy back to the game. Models wore round white sunglasses, while shimmering headscarves tied over foreheads nodded to the future and the ‘50s, which we saw in the looks that followed.

Cinched, high waists, over-the-knee skirts, knee-high socks and dainty collars evoked vintage femme, while fabrics were luxurious pearl and champagne brocades. Bralets and corset tops featured extensively on top, as did preppy short sleeves and oversized jackets. The spotlight was also on voluminous skirts and ‘50s-style knickers. One particular standout look was matching bralet, pants and giant flowing robe in a vampy black and crimson floral print - from queen of the court to queen of the night! Rochas will have no trouble courting ladies with this collection. 

Rue du Mail


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Rue du Mail SS13 looked like it had been made by machines for a race of alien Glamazons with great hair.  Most of this predominantly monochrome collection seemed to focus on stripped back bare bones – in fact some of the shapes made you feel like you were actually seeing these sci-fi fillies’ inner workings on the outside of their frocks. It was all very futuristic - if these girls had done the robot dance down the catwalk we wouldn’t have been surprised.  Everything felt sharp and slightly ’technology,’ from the almost impractically peek-a-boo laser cutting, to the industrial sunflowers.  Stiffly cut balloon shoulders and sleeves ended in starched looking cuffs, skirts hung shift square or in tight fitting pencils. And then suddenly towards the end of the collection there was a burst of colour – burnt caramel, dusky pink, cherry purple – softer shapes and even a little Peter Pan collar.  If this is the future according to Martine Sitbon sign us up for the ride.


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On Thursday Balenciaga proved that SS13 will be a good season for crops. Nicholas Ghesquiere served up sporty bralets wrapped around like Ace bandages, and ultra-cropped tops in black, white, beige and tweed, as well as love rat Kristen Stewart in yellow leather on the front row. High-waisted trousers abounded as usual, and when paired with the itsy bitsy tops the effect was pure ‘B-girl’, in both senses.

Classic Balenciaga androgyny was at play in the more mannish suit jackets and trousers, but the show was also laced with a strong vein of femininity, seen especially in the sculptural flamenco frills on peplums and skirt hems, printed silk dresses, feathery skirts, pastel knits and prim (mini) skirt suits. Here at Glass Pineapple we loved the unfussy makeup and NG’s funky, chunky twist on brogues. 



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Lanvin SS13 dazzled with 50 shades of noir – not your usual spring/summer colour –  and flashes of neutral in matte silks, satin sheen, twinkling tulle and jewel-encrusted pieces reminiscent of disco balls. The look was sharp and seductive, with a strong geometrical slant. Designer Alber Elbaz said, “Almost everything is a square. Every time I tried something round, it didn’t work.”

Elbaz, who celebrated 10 years with Lanvin last season, ushered in the new decade with boxy jackets and strong shoulders, asymmetrical cuts and one-sleeve pieces, statement belts and bows, Japanese-influenced tailoring, and chunky accessories. Think futuristic Working Girl – with some surprise cowboy boots thrown in. The tuxedo jacket and dress trousers featured prominently, as did square shifts, deep V-necks, bare backs and cutouts at the waist. Satin jewel tones closed the show, with zingy punches of fuchsia and chartreuse.


Manish Arora, Roland Mouret


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Elsewhere, Manish Arora brought dazzling gold, out of this world embellishment, lame, pastels and even metallic animal print to the catwalks of Paris, whilst Roland Mouret took a time machine back past the Galaxy dress to the power dressing of the ‘80s.


Dries Van Noten, Balmain


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At Dries Van Noten you couldn’t move for checks, tartans and plaids – if you look closely you’ll even see them under this full length, sheer floaty poppy affair – whilst Balmain took fabric from midriffs and necklines and structured it all onto the shoulders.  Huge they were.

More on this topic tomorrow.  For now, vin et sommeil.


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