Insta-Critic: Everything you missed from #PFWeekend

The weekend lineup at Paris Fashion Week was filled with shows that veered on the side of statement-making drama–the kind of shows that provide ample fodder for Instagram. On the quieter side of things, some of Paris’s hippest labels–Kenzo, Celine, and Chloe, to name a few–showed collections that subtly evolved their brands while staying true to their cool-girl roots. See the full roundup below!

Junya Watanabe played with dressing in three dimensions. The show featured graphic skirts, done in rigid pleats and topped with fantastical honeycomb hats.

#paris #pfw #junyawatanabe #show #fw15 Details from the show JUNYA WATANABE

A photo posted by Татьяна Путятина (@tatyana_svmoscow) on

Hat head at Watanabe

This season Haider Ackermann sent out a more boyishly tailored, less romantic collection. Done in dark prints, the fitted jackets in tweeds and velvets displayed masterful pattern-mixing.

Great mix of patterns #haiderackerman #parisfashion A photo posted by @janeantonacci (@jnantonacci) on

Mixing prints at Haider Ackerman

Vivienne Westwood stayed true to her Brit-punk sensibilities and sent out a collection of perfectly off-kilter clothes, featuring ball gowns for the boys and pant suits for the girls. Completing the runway’s unruly party theme? The German band Die Hartjungs performed live.

Westwood’s wild party dress

Comme des Garcons showed an (unsurprisingly) avant-garde collection this season, delivering white lace and cotton confections fit for royalty and styled with the dark lace veils.

On the runway at #CommedesGarcons. #PFW A photo posted by WWD (@wwd) on

Hyperbolic dressing at Comme Des Garcons

Acne presented a collection worthy of wardrobe envy, featuring high-waisted pants, patch pockets, and plenty of tweed. If the clothes weren’t enough, there are always the coveted Acne accessories: this season the sculptural, high-heeled ankle boot is the one to get.

Acne gets eclectic

Olympia le Tan‘s collection was fit for a prima ballerina who likes to party on the weekends. Those sweet touches of hand-illustrated scrollwork were drawn by the designer’s Dad.

Hand-drawn designs at Olympia Le Tan

Kenzo has sportiness in its DNA, but this weekend the label notorious for sending out statement patterns went for a more refined approach of piling up long, contrasting layers in surprising satin finishes.

Kenzo’s dark drapey looks for fall

True to form, Celine sent out cool, modern clothes women want to wear, but this season, the typically minimalist label got a bit cheeky with tighter bodices and a woodland animal motif.

The bags were big at #Celine #PFW A photo posted by WWD (@wwd) on

The bags at Celine

As Lorde, Kelly Rowland, and Poppy Delevingne looked on from the front row, this season’s Chloe girl embraced a take-charge aesthetic. Still, the relaxed 70s mood that prevails at the brand was still present: slouchy wide-leg pants and plenty of fringe kept things floaty.

I am feeling all sorts of understood at Chloe

A photo posted by Man Repeller (@manrepeller) on

Chloe does fringe for fall

STYLE SCOOP: Remembering L’Wren Scott, Phoebe Philo’s OBE, Trouble In Gel Manicure Heaven

WWD speaks to L’Wren Scott’s friends and collaborators about what they’ll remember most about the stylist, designer, and friend. Scott was found hanging from a scarf, dead in her apartment on Monday morning from an apparent suicide.

Phoebe Philo received her Order of the British Empire from Prince Charles this weekend for her services to fashion. Wonder if Kate Middleton will start wearing Céline now?

Bad news for gel mani lovers; the UV lights, chemicals, and unskilled professionals (horror!) might be worse for you than you think.

STYLE SCOOP: The Queen Honors Fashion Faves, Sophia Webster Puts Her Heeled Foot Down

Queen Elizabeth II added Celine’s Phoebe Philo and makeup artist Pat McGrath to her New Year Honors list with an OBE and MBE, respectively. The two managed to beat out David Beckham for a spot.

Shoe designer Sophia Webster took to Instagram to call out NastyGal for copying one of her bags too closely. As Stylite said, at least she didn’t sub-gram it.

A warrant has been issued for the owner of Tazreen Fashions Ltd., Delwar Hossein after a factory fire killed 112 in 2012. Five others were also issued warrants. Hossein is on the run.

Something to look forward to in 2014? Purple‘s Olivier Zahm is set to release Diary, a photographic book published by Rizzoli.

And: Models rapping.

Hedi Slimane to Design YSL from LA

Now that it has been speculated and confirmed that former Dior Homme designer turned renowned fashion photographer Hedi Slimane will indeed succeed Stefano Pilati’s role as YSL creative director, everyone wants to know where he’ll make the magic happen. Will he stick to tradition and work out of YSL’s Parisian headquarters or will he switch the game up and design from his homebase since 2007, Los Angeles?  Ever the rebel, Slimane chose the latter. 

According to British Vogue, although Slimane will maintain the design reins from his West Coast studio, "fittings will still take place in Paris and YSL ateliers will continue to work from the label’s Avenue George V offices." They also note that London-based Phoebe Philo of Céline is the only other creative director of a French fashion house to go against the grain and work elsewhere. 

While Philo’s relocation definitely worked out for her (I’m pretty sure some Philophiles have physical shrines dedicated to Céline), I’m curious to see how the notoriously laidback LA will affect YSL’s European sensibility. Slimane’s first YSL collection as creative director is expected to drop this month.

On another note, Vena Cava now has a studio in LA, Vera Wang bought a home in LA, Céline is re-opening their Rodeo Drive boutique and Isabel Marant is setting up shop in West Hollywood—I suspect the grooming of a West Coast fashion capital. 

Today We Mourn: Céline Cancels Fall Runway Show

Phoebe Philo is seven months pregnant with her third child, and we’re being punished for it. Today, Céline’s CEO Marco Gobetti confirmed that due to the designer’s pregnancy, the French fashion house will not produce a runway show for the fall 2012 season. Although Philo is still designing the new collection and the Céline team may show it in a presentation setting during Paris Fashion Week, we can’t help but feel torn between our admiration of Philo’s courage to scale back for her baby and our sartorial selfishness. 

Every season, Céline’s front row is filled with heavyhitters like Emmanuelle Alt, Carine Roitfeld, and Anna Dello Russo, so we know that we’re not the only ones saddened by this news. Kanye West is also a huge fan and recently presented Philo with the International Designer of the Year award at the 2011 CFDA Awards, so we’re sure he’s shedding a single tear, too—unless he’s too busy working on his own fall runway collection.

Photo via

FashionFeed: A Cow Goes Couture, Cartier Goes CGI


● To further prove their standing as the world’s leading French luxury brand, Hermès has launched a million-dollar handbag made of gold. [Financial Times]

● For their first foray into film, Cartier took viewers on a CGI journey around the world with their iconic panther. The piece apparently took two years to make, with six months dedicated to editing. [Styleite]

● Following her divorce from British artistocrat Justin Portman last year, model Natalia Vodianova rolled to the Dior show today on the arm of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault’s son. [Modelina]

● Say it ain’t so! Freja Beha Erichsen’s agency said that she’s not walking Paris Fashion Week this season. [Modelina]

● French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s photos of French cow Hermione in high-fashion hats can now be viewed at the aptly-titled Milk Factory in Paris. [The Gloss]

● If you’re missing the name Phoebe Philo now that Celine is officially not showing this PFW, read this interview in which the designer talks about her maternity, creating the perfect wardrobe, and those Philophiles. [NYT]

The Thrill of the Touch: Italian Quality at MaxMara

Where London gets off on quirk, and New Yorkers will always be working to out-cool one another, and sometimes Italy does the sexy thing, there’s a standard for gorgeous quality in Milan and Paris that isn’t always found elsewhere. Even some of the best designers, American and otherwise, source synthetics and still sell them to us for thousands. Well, this shopper wants quality for her money, even if it seems less interesting than a lamé-appliqued frock.

It’s houses like MaxMara, the accompanying SportMax, and to come in Paris, Céline, who have a way with quality stitching, fabric, cut… so while from a distance it may seem there’s nothing particularly of note about a garment, when you get up close, see the details, feel the luxury, the quickening pulse and heightened senses that come with a first contact turn some consumers into addicts for quality like this.

That luxury factor, however, was present and visible from a distance in MaxMara’s double-faced cashmere laced spring collection, shown Thursday in Milan. Simple, flattering, forgiving cuts in pearly greys looked as good as they’ll feel, and hopefully will wear just as well.

Maybe it’s a form of touch sensory memory, but can’t you just feel the cashmere, even through the computer screen?

They’re Still Tevas, Even if Marc and Miuccia Made Them

Just because Prada made it doesn’t mean it’s not a Teva. Miuccia Prada, who regularly insists on bringing the ugly to the runway, did it again with a primary-colored and bejeweled pair to heel her spring collection. To offend further, Prada’s kindergarten colored Tevas were paired with the tube sock equivalent of a leg warmer.

Marc Jacobs had his coastal surfing army shuffling down the catwalk in Tevas, too, though Marc’s were fairly tame in comparison to Italy’s offering. This follows this past spring’s resurgence of the Birkenstock, championed by Céline, which showed up again on the New York runways, though designers like Tibi managed to create a more streamlined version.

What gives? There are better ways to do comfortable and functional that are still presentable. While bad taste is often preferable to no taste – kudos for trying, and everything – those looking to add sparkle needn’t do it literally with bejeweled sandals in a Crayola hue.

Take, for example, the Common Projects sneaker or the Vans slip on, since we are heading into fall; consistent, comfortable shoes with a timeless design that don’t have much to say in the way of bad taste. The opposite of loud, shoes like this will still garner the right kind of attention – namely for style and practicality.

Common Projects

Ah, that’s better.

Shoes, Glorious Shoes: Chunky Heels and Flats for #NYFW

From a New York Fashion Week filled with ultra-relaxed hair and easy dressing, it makes sense that our feet will benefit from the new mood, too. Only a few designers deigned to show a single-soled stiletto shoe, those cruel, beautiful monsters that are a major pain after a few hours. This spring, it’s all about comfort, two ways: the flat, and the chunky heel.

The Birkenstock is having a moment, thanks to Celine’s bejeweled mink iteration from last spring. Roll your eyes, but they caught on (and weren’t you a little jealous of those with what were essentially elegant if Muppet-y fur pillows strapped to their feet? Yes.) For spring 2014, Tibi did a Birk-ish flat sandal in a simple slide in white, black, or bedazzled, and they’re quite pretty.
Another sandal for spring comes from Suno, with a simple shape and in blocked colors that coordinate well with the collection.
Honor also treated us to flats – sparkly ones at that. These more formal pieces paired perfectly with Honor’s pretty, proper dresses. Who doesn’t love a flat they can dress up in?
Next up is The Row, who worked on a limited-edition collaboration with Italian men’s shoemakers Enzo Bonafè. If you want to get into this pair come spring, you have to get yourself into a waitlist now. The results of their partnership are beautiful, timeless shoes that look buttery, elegant, and comfortable from here. 
Looking for height? Ditch the pin heel and reach for one of this chunky bunch: 
Tess Giberson showed white and black leather shoes that crawled up the ankle like armor – ideal for stomping around.
The best shoe of the bunch hailed from Spanish brand Delpozo, who managed to make a potentially clunky heel girly and still fashion forward. All bearing a bow and coming in colors like metallic teal, chartreuse, lavender, silver and gold, along with matte black and white, there’s an option for every outfit.