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Nefertiti's Headpiece, Slavic Bond Villains and MJ In Satin Knickers at Paris Fashion Week

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Gareth Pugh


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Gareth Pugh went Goth Geisha for SS13 on Wednesday - black leather, hair sticks and all. The pieces were highly structural, with open, freestanding collars reminiscent of the Bilbao Guggenheim, tight bodices, flared trouser legs and wizard sleeves. The show’s opening look stunned, as only Pugh can do, with a statuesque vision in black sporting a floor-length sleeveless gown, the model’s face hidden by a veil hanging from a Nefertiti headpiece.

Coats and capes - ruffled and Dracula-style - made a strong showing, as did more show-stopping gowns in red and white. The softer, less dramatic looks featured fluted sleeves, lightly frayed hems and cascading romantic ruffles. We enjoyed the Halloween-esque batwing fringe on long-sleeve bodycon dresses. Spooky, dark romance was in abundance, as was ethereal beauty - all of which we can definitely make use of in the event of a gloomy British summer.


Hussein Chalayan

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On Friday, Hussein Chalayan had his finger on the pulse of the urban sophisticate, paying homage to the experience of living in the city with his SS13 collection ‘The Occasion.’ It was an atmospheric show - with low lighting and a dreamscape forest backdrop - that honoured silhouettes and print. First we saw airy short sleeves and culottes in periwinkle and white, followed by flouncy skirts, skater dresses and peplums. Chalayan mixed colour and form in neon mesh inlays in white shirts and sheer white overlays on neon mesh dresses and an omnipresent floppy-brimmed hat with see-through coloured plastic visor built in. We also saw what looked like a riff on American football jerseys, with big shoulders and two pastel bands of colour around the sleeves. ‘Sporty but smart’ was very much at play here.

The latter part of the show was gorgeous prints in poppy, jade and cornflower blue - some with a metallic foil pinstripe effect - and marbled monochrome. We would like to point out that each half of the show began with all black, because as Hussein and we city girls know, whenever in doubt, you can always go back to black.


Maison Martin Margiela

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Amidst a room swathed in plastic Maison Margiela on Friday was haute minimalism and quietly avant guard at its best.. Zero embellishment gave way to exquisite borderline restrictive cut and form flattering shape, played out in an ambien-esque dreamy colour palette.

There was poise and power to this collection from column dresses and low-key bustiers, angular shapes and tunics to full length strapless dramatic evening dresses. Characteristically, outré touches were the subversion of the pocket, which made a bold, oversized statement and topsy-turvey ‘what am I’ pieces- skirt, trousers, dress etc

Sartorially speaking this was Slavic Bond villain meets Ridley Scott futuristic femme fatale administering a deadly dose.  We are positively foaming at the mouth (don’t worry she didn’t catch us) for when the upcoming H&M collaboration hits shops this November.


Christian Dior

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Raf Simon’s first ready-to-wear collection for the French fashion house hit just the right note on Friday in Paris, with the designer bringing his own idiosyncratic contemporary minimalist aesthetic as was perfectly showcased at Jil Sander. The collection was a fizzy mix of elegant directional tailoring, bright tulle layered dresses, shot silk iridescent puff ball mini dresses, and full bold layered floral motive evening skirts teamed with sleek pared down tops. No two silhouettes were the same 

There will be those who declare the collection a people pleaser trying to tick too many boxes, but we say Raf pulled it off with just the right level of je ne sais quoi whilst remaining true to the elements of Dior’s DNA


Jean Paul Gaultier

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If you’d been at the free champagne during Paris Fashion Week Saturday, you might have been a bit confused by the models parading in the Gaultier show that night, as there was more than a passing resemblance to some rather famous faces.  Had Gaultier somehow recruited Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Boy George, Madonna and George Michael, rolled back the years and sent them down the catwalk, with a plethora of half naked dancing boys?  No, in fact this was a tribute to ‘all the pop stars of the Eighties who have influenced fashion,’ Gaultier’s unique take on the most copied wardrobes – maybe the way they would have been had he been asked to style them.

And so we saw a fierce tuxedo jumpsuit on a cigarette toting Grace Jones-alike, a high waisted corset dress not that far removed from the one he made the first time around on a look-alike Madge, and a Boy George double in a silky flowing floral maxi and a lemon yellow jacket. There were a few of the corset shapes that he is best known for, mocha pinstripe tailored suits with sheer or peek-a-boo cut outs, soft flowing denim print, a shimmering fuchsia corseted bodysuit on a real Amanda Lear and Michael Jackson (not real) in red satin underwear.  It was almost like fashion fancy dress but far more fabulous – and the FROW couldn’t get enough of it.  There was even dancing.

Isabel Marant and Vivienne Westwood Gold Label


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Isabel Marant delivered smart and sassy, from monochrome tropical flower prints, to teeny shorts, curt dresses, breezy fabrics and light designs.  In complete contrast, Vivienne Westwood’s girls were queens of hearts (literally stamped on their faces), with 18th century hair, in corsets, frouffy skirts and basques.  You get the feeling this the way the designer would like to dress every day if they would let her on the tube.

Kenzo and Hermes


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This morning at Kenzo there was a veritable safari through the lands of colour and wild prints and Hermes served up crazy but covetable contrasts of prints graphic and classic, tailoring femme et homme, and sharp and soft shapes.

And whilst you might be feeling bloated by all this fashion (if not by all the free champagne and macaroons), well people there are still three days to go and Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Miu Miu (among many others) still to come.  Hold on to your Stella McCartney cloche, we’re in for a wonderful ride…

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