Celine Challenges, Givenchy Zips




The editors milling around The Tennis club de Paris before the Céline show on Sunday showed just how much influence Phoebe Philo has on fashion right now. Those Céline signatures: the sharply cut leathers worn next to the skin, and the crisp white cotton shirts, were out in force. Philo’s spring collection was so quiet and refined that it passed by like a whisper. These clothes are truly above and beyond all the sexy, tricky tra la la, but they’re also quite a challenge. It takes a great deal of personal style to pull off a sweeping long white vest over matching pants, paired with a beige tunic with almost no visible detail. The same goes for super wide, slouchy pants with only an industrial zip-fly, or the bright orange waistband to style them. Philo continued with North African shepherd’s caftans, smocks tucked into wrap skirts, trapunto quilt tunics and some fabulous rough hand wovens in a white/beige patchwork of stitches and textures for a halter-top and a coat.
Alexis Mabille presented ready-to-wear for the first time this season having previously shown during Paris’s couture week. This may be ready to wear, but Mabille is still a detail maniac and can’t resist adding things like a bit of ruffle around the ankle zips on Capri pants. This was a collection for champagne-sipping coquettes who have no fear of cinch waist dresses in bias black-and-white stripes with Chantilly lace bodices.
All the buzz before Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy show was about his fantastic transparent leopard spot dress, which French Vogue‘s Editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld wore to the magazine’s 90th anniversary Eyes Wide Shut masquerade ball the other night.  Nothing quite like that second-skin zinger appeared in the show, but it was a heady presentation nevertheless. Deconstructed black and white vests, inset with leopard and transparent details, and tops and jumpsuits covered with silver zippers was Tisci’s elegant nod to punk. It soon became apparent that the intersecting zipper work on the front and back of jackets formed a cross. There were lots of pants in this collection and transparency, which enhanced the drama of men’s eveningwear for the ladies.