Best Accessories From Paris Fashion Week

Well, the Parisians know how to end with a bang—especially when it comes to what we want to be wearing next spring.

At Balenciaga, all-white lacy Chinatown-style spa slippers ruled the runway, while Céline’s two-tone ankle boots were similarly both sensible and compellingly chic (if less tongue-in-cheek).

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Translucent accessories emerged as a micro-trend, with PVC paneling lending itself to a sporty vibe at Loewe and Chanel.

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At Vetements, Demna Gvasalia’s thigh-high embroidered boots—part wader, part cowboy—felt off-kilter and cool in all the right ways. For those with more classic intentions, the exquisitely crafted necklaces gracing the models at Valentino were breathtaking, while at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière stuck to the brand’s traditional monogram logo but splashed it across new bag shapes, including a sharply pleated drawstring backpack that left us swooning.

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There was truly something for everyone. (Now whether there’s something for every budget, on the other hand . . .)

Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Lanvin

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Alber Elbaz sure does know how to put a spring in everyone’s Parisian step. You’d have been hard-pushed to find someone not smiling, foot-tapping or head-still-nodding after his show this evening – one that went back to his Moroccan roots (he was born in Casablanca) with verve and flair, and will have had women already compiling a mental shopping list to save up for before they even left the show venue.

It was a beautiful collection full of seductive personality: wrap-slit skirts with tassels tied at the waist; floppy-but-fashioned-in-place hats; billowy gypsy dresses and blouses; gaucho layers and gorgeous knee-high boots of luxe patchwork or tarnished in gold with trousers tucked in; fringing that spiralled around skirts from waist to hem – and when it wasn’t fringing (which exploded down the seams of elbow-length gloves too), it was feathers that buoyantly bobbed.

There were supersized Tibetan-style blanket coats, and molten prairie skirts, artisanal all the way – tassels dangling, single-breasted easy trailing jackets over wonderful eclectic layers beneath. Altogether it looked great and you knew that taken apart would have the same effect too – be it that be-feathered skirt, the wrap-tied one or that pale pink wisp of a dress.

And if Madame is looking for something with a little more sparkle, then look no further than the series of severely sequin embroidered tunics, trousers, capes and caps at the end. Lanvin bling in its best form.

Last season, Lanvin’s 125th anniversary, Elbaz had kept it relatively simple – which made this collection have all the more impact. And the man himself was clearly pleased, taking a proper bow and gracing us with his presence half way down the catwalk before skipping back and turning to give us all a cheeky grin.

The clothes, the man, what’s not to love?

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Chloe

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Clare Waight Keller dedicated her show to International Women’s Day on March 8 and the notes came with a little anonymous self-empowering poem that she’d signed off with. Because if there’s one thing Chloe is all about, it’s embracing and celebrating women, femininity.

Today was a kind of greatest hits of the label that laboured its efforts in the Seventies: skinny little scarves tied around the necks of plunging V-neck maxi dresses; wide-lapel peacoats; natty waistcoats and billowing blouses; chemise-y sheer frills on little perky dresses and later those that fell loose and languid. Coats were substantial and solid investments, they always were here. And corduroy and denim got brief, but era-ticking, outings as Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams so easily summed up the mood: romantic, nonchalant, just as the way the Chloe girl is supposed to be. She’s young but sexy, feminine but strong and likes her masculine tailoring just as much as something delicate and pale.

In a fashion landscape saturated by the Seventies right now though, it of course didn’t feel new. But that wasn’t really ever going to be the takeaway from this and true Chloe girls – or even just those in search of a good coat or pretty dress – won’t mind in the slightest.

“Live life to express, not to impress” – just like the poem said.

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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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