Paris Day 3: Lanvin, Dior and More

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Published October 4, 2009

A girl could get far in a trenchcoat and tap shorts and at Dior, John Galliano got through an entire season. His 40s-era crime scene  began with the trench in  tarnished  lamé, but his Lauren Bacall look-alike didn’t waste much time in her outerwear. The trench went from jacket short to creamy leather, black snake and transparent tulle, but it was soon clear that everything this Diorella really wants is in the boudoir. Galliano headed straight for the lingerie department, circa 40s Hollywood, for mini ruffle slip skirts, transparent, curve-hugging corsetry dresses, and those lace-edged satin tap shorts all worn with baby doll ankle socks and platform sandals. (LEFT: DIOR, LOOK 2)
 
Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz has a thing for shoulders, asymmetry, swirling volumes and soft wrapping. Throughout this collection he proved it’s possible to make real life romance by spinning ruffle sculpture  around the body of very simple pieces, playing with asymmetry, zeroing in on  curvy shoulders, wrapping skirts like flower petals and restyling suit tailoring into soft jumpsuits all of it slipped over a nude body stocking.  There are still those signature Elbaz poufs, cloudlike fabric formations at the shoulders and hips which make seams and other conventional constructions seem obsolete, but the new asymmetry offers a surprise at every angle.
 

Lanvin, Look 3; Isabel Marant, Look 26

Perhaps the fashion world is coming around to Bernhard Willhelm’s point of view at last.  Young spirited, sporty and off the cocktail circuit, his neo-Woodstock collection was full of fresh color-splashed prints worn like floating scarves around the body, blanket-like jackets and patchwork spider web knits.
 
After seasons that explored every shade of putty, olive drab and dust, and enough black for a chic army, Isabel Marant’s collection was shockingly colourful, like stepping out of the movies on a shinning afternoon. Marant’s clothes are young, as in girls who “Just wanna have fun.” Chanelesque jackets with scoop necks edged in jewels, slouchy pants in silver Lurex and bright stripes, ruffled  canvas minis, ethnic tunic dresses and all those fringed suede boots with stud  belts look like Coachella.
 
The Noh-theater white face and fright wig hair at Yohji Yamamoto did give his show a tragic, Nosferatu air, but once the eye adjusted, his  mix of men’s tailoring and Edwardian corsetry was pretty sexy. Yamamoto began with a curvy, pencil-slim shirt dress with a wide hip belt cut down to the ankles and then he turned a man’s double-breasted suit jacket into an off-the-shoulder number over a mini. The minis kept showing up and so did off-the-shoulder cutting for the classic white shirt. The curvy Edwardian biker jacket was a standout and even the floor sweeping skirts looked flirty with thigh high slits to show off biker studded garter belts. (YOHJI, LOOK 18)

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