Paris Day 7

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Published October 7, 2009

Oh, Chloé! For me it might be the biggest shocker of Paris fashion week. What looked at first like the wrong proportions turned out to be simply real clothes as they are worn. Even the models looked natural, which was truly a first. Beginning with a patch pocket coat in mustard over leather shorts and a khaki military shirt, Hannah McGibbon’s collection went minimal in a down-to-earth way before tripping the light fantastic in sunburst pleat tiers with a naïve look—so rare in Paris. And the prettiest girl on the runway was the designer herself. (LEFT: CHLOE, LOOK 17)
 
Who could ever imagine that at heart Karl Lagerfeld is a country boy? As if they rolled straight out of a bundle of hay, his chic Chanel maids all in milk and cream loosened up for spring in roomy jackets over bell skirts and clogs. Sometimes they dressed in identical outfits with their prince charmings which gave way to a fashion does Diane Arbus moment. This collection was a rough-edged feast, and the second half was dedicated to full-skirted knit dresses—as if fashioned by a giant’s needles, for a doll-like look.
 

Chanel, look 70; Alexander McQueen, look 12

 

Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiori and Pier Paolo Piccioli are a fashion fairy tale. It sounds corny, but it’s absolutely true. Valentino retires and his long-time, trusted collaborators take over the house and make it young again.  Who could imagine something like this was possible in the revolving door take- over world of current fashion? The collection they presented all in greys and nude was full of flounces and transparent lace in tunics, shorts and cropped pants for young women—the daughters and grand-daughters of Val’s original customers—whose life begins after five.
 
The only humanoid on Alexander McQueen’s runway was himself, in baggy jeans, shirt and T-shirt, everyone else was dressed like… insect creatures captured under a microscope or intergalactic space princess of the Princess Leah kind, or high steppers in a ballet about the end of life as we know it on planet earth. The show was ethereally beautiful, but absolutely beyond what common mortals, regardless of their budget, might ever wear off the stage.