Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Balmain

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Those transfixed by Kim Kardashian’s new platinum blonde hairdo, which she debuted on the front row at Balmain, were shocked from their trance when Alessandra Ambrosio opened the show in full, in-your-face, wham-bam, glamazon glory.

She entered in a cut-to-the navel, floor-length, mustard pleated gown, belted with glossy leather. Glamour is to be expected at Balmain, but the fab-factor was dialled way up.

Vintage undertones ran deep here – if it was J.W. Anderson‘s job in London to banish the Seventies revival in favour of the Eighties, then Olivier Rousteing has picked up the baton in Paris. Although Rousteing’s show notes claimed a Seventies reference, most of these proportions – and that fierce femme attitude – felt more at home in an Eighties context.

When the collection did riff on the Seventies, then that was visible in the billowing chiffon jumpsuits, printed with popping florals and finished with a ruffled décolletage.

A focus on proportion asserted itself in wide-leg ballooning flares in fine, high-shimmer fabric, pin-tucked to accentuate the pertest of derrières, which were divine; think Pleats Please meets Kim Kardashian and you’re part way there.

In fact, Rousteing may have a #BalmainArmy but Kim was clearly the muse inspiring this collection. The newly blonde bombshell looked particularly taken with a pair of sheer lace kick flares, worn with a sheer lace top tucked into a high waist, and cinched with a wide, pearl-embellished belt.

And below the waist? Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the cover up. These clothes were designed to be less fleshy than what we have come to expect from 28-year-old Rousteing. He chooses long-legged, glowing, robust-looking girls to walk in his show (the kind of gloriously sexy goddesses you’d find walking the Victoria’s Secret runway) and there’s always oodles of skin on display. Legs when visible were in tights – a low, possibly eight-denier by the looks of things.

This was of course an autumn/winter collection, so perhaps that explains the long-sleeves and the heavier handwriting, but it must have been about more than seasonality. Perhaps this woman wants to trade less on her sexuality and more on her talents; let’s face it…

The Balmain woman is so fierce she doesn’t feel the cold.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Givenchy

WELL, there can’t be many one-year-old babies with their very own front row seat at Paris Fashion Week. The current count tallies to one in fact, at Givenchy, where mademoiselle North West, dressed in a custom-made full-length Givenchy black sheer dress took her seat alongside parents, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, dressed in a plunging, sheer black lace jumpsuit. It was a family affair with Kendall Jenner on the runway.

The family certainly looked the part as the show opened with a series of graphic, sexy black dresses with trussed up corseted bodices and lacy sheer skirts. It was hard-edged and yet… romantic.

It’s an odd parallel but part of Riccardo Tisci’s appeal is in his ability to meld those two disparate worlds so convincingly. These are dresses that are all-out fierce, a little bit slutty (further enhanced by the thigh-high boots they were partnered with) but all of that is counterbalanced by the divine craftsmanship at play. The lace here this evening was so fine it looked like it could have floated right off, up into there air were it not anchored with leather strips spliced into those pleats, or harnessed down with backless waistcoats crafted from stiffened leather with crocodile panels.

Pirate blouses flounced about like ship’s sales, while humbug black and white striped narrow-shouldered jackets festooned with corseted lacing kept the silhouette tight and lean. With legs clad in leather leggings or spray on jeans, the detail was all about up top.

The only sighting of colour amongst this entirely monochrome collection came in the shape of a fleshy pink leather dress, plunging, tight to the body with a pleated and ruffled skirt. Severe, and yet… oh so pretty.

To shop more Givenchy click below to explore the Spring/Summer 2015 Givenchy look:

 


Spring/Summer 2015 Balenciaga

IT wasn’t shaping up to be a particularly starry front row, until just before the lights went down and Kim, Kanye and baby North (in a Balenciaga full look of course) took their front row seats.

Isn’t she cute! Isn’t she well behaved? The rest of the room went gaga for baby North momentarily and then an intensity as bright as the paparazzi bulbs snapping her image followed. And then it was time to turn our attention to the clothes.

Alexander Wang’s love of modernism, black, and a glossy finish was out in full effect (albeit it with hint at Cristobel Balenciaga’s legacy) as an army of girls stormed down the runway. The tailored fluidity of floor-length overcoats whispered archive – think a Balenciaga balloon jacket seen through a Matrix movie prism, and the precise cut (the black jumpsuits with embellished pockets were particularly articulate) reminded us of the skill of the house, but the tone was (of course) sporty, there was no romance here.

Rather than the sumptuous gowns of Balenciaga way back when, this show offered a modern girl fresh take on cocktail dressing, and sporty looks to go luxe level clubbing in. Jumpsuits, sheer-sleeved short suits and halter necklines, and mesh – tons of mesh and techy fabrics.

The final pastel section softened the show. And Kim’s favourite look? A white mesh top with a band of crystals across the décolletage seemed to pique her interest, in fact you could see her in most of what was on show here.

And what about North? Even she clapped at the end (with the help of her doting father of course).

To shop more Balenciaga visit: www.balenciaga.com or click below to shop the Spring/Summer 2015 Balenciaga look: