Will Kate Middleton wear an Alexander McQueen dress to the royal wedding? If the rumor mill and today’s Paris Fashion Week runway show are any indication, we may have an answer to the most buzzed about fashion question since the frenzy surrounding Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown.
While the guessing game will likely continue until the event unfolds on April 29th, jewelry hounds and fashion fans can marvel instead at today’s incredible Alexander McQueen offering – Sarah Burton’s 2nd McQueen show as creative director, after his untimely passing last year.
The event was held at the ‘uplifting’ venue, Conciergerie, which was the antechamber to the guillotine during the French Revolution, holding thousands of prisoners, including one Marie Antoinette. It was also the site of one of McQueen’s most memorable shows, where live wolves prowled the premises.
A series of black, bondage-inspired frocks opened the proceedings, followed by an angelic display of white gowns laced with pearls and bone china (!). Needless to say, a princess would look stunning in any of these creations with a little royal-friendly tweaking.
While jewelry was a veritable no-show here (and on most of the runway shows in Paris this year), McQueen shoes more than make up for our need for the ‘lower jaw drop’ couture moment.
I know one Monster Queen who’s gonna want to get her claws into these….
Last year, Christian Lacroix blew my mind with his Alice in Wonderland-inspired runway jewels. And this year? The torch has successfully been passed to Lanvin.
What began as a rather restrained display of bling on frocks that ranged from the simple little black dress to the pleated jumpsuit, slowly evolved into an over-the-top fashion fiesta complete with dazzling carnation red dresses, dripping gold bracelets and bejeweled statement necklaces that had tongues wagging well after the show.
Critical darlings like John Galliano for Dior and Jean Paul Gauliter got solid reviews from the Paris onlookers earlier in the week, but it was the Lanvin runway that sent the sartorial tastemakers into a tizzy.
According to Style.com:
“Every Lanvin show has had a bijoux component in varying degrees, but yesterday, Elbaz amped it up like never before with a crescendoing glitz factor. There were wide enameled cuffs stacked over black leather gloves, slinky gold chains dangling Byzantine-inspired pendants, fat chain links studded with stones, and dramatically twisting Medusa-worthy snakes.”
Thank you, Lanvin, for finally giving me something to gawk at this year. And check out Jewelry.com’s Facebook page for more Paris fashion fodder. You won’t want to miss Gaultier’s gold links and denim overall cone bras!
Alexander McQueen may be the only designer in Paris who refused to bow to the conservative malaise blanketing the fashion industry like a lingering rain cloud. Words like ‘sensible’ and ‘accessible’ had no business on his runway yesterday, folks.
Instead, McQueen dazzled the crowd with chain mail suits, lampshade hats, shiny hooded dresses and soda can accessories that screamed to the world, “You can take your economic woe and shove it!”
According to Style.com, the crowd got in a heated debate after the spectacle – the older folks felt the ‘blow-up doll make-up’ and uncomfortable ensembles were misogynistic. The younger crowd – tired of all the sense and sensibility – couldn’t get enough.
Yet despite the over-the-top headpieces, unwalkable stacked heels and spikey jewelry, there were some incredibly made clothes on display.
But it was the sheer bravado of the line that made the program such a show-stopper. You have to wonder how many seamstresses were needed to make all the feathers and soda cans combine into this freakish display.
We may not see another runway quite like this for a while – so regardless of your sartorial sensibilities – perhaps we should get while the gettin’s good.
What do you guys think? Would you wear any of this – or is that not the point?
The Paris couture shows are taking the runways by storm this week, and while folks generally take a gander at the often-outrageous looks and wonder who on earth would ever wear such nonsense, I find couture gawking the perfect indulgence – especially in these trying times. It’s like rolling around in a vat of Cherry Garcia or having that third – ok fourth – margarita.
So imagine my dismay when I came across the Karl Lagerfeld show for Chanel. It’s all white. It’s suit skirts. It’s a jewelry wasteland. Of course there were fabulously intricate white hats that dazzled the well-heeled crowd, but I’m not in the mood for white right now, Karl. This economy blows. I’m no longer getting my hair highlighted. I want an escape, not a reminder of how bland life is now that I’m off the $4 lattes.
Thankfully, Christian Lacroix is my new ‘white’ knight in shining couture. Not only are there colors exploding all over his catwalk, but the jewelry is an over-the-top display of decadence the likes of which I’ve never seen before. It’s like going down a bauble-filled rabbit hole on crack.
Dinner plate-sized hoop earrings, stacks of mismatched lacquer and crystal cuffs, multiple layerings of giant necklaces, gilded heart-shaped lockets, faux fronds of coral, beaded everything but the kitchen sink… Clearly, words don’t do the show justice, but Style.com’s reviewer comes close:
“(The show) was a pleasure to witness and something to be inspired by. Even if only the very few will own a part of this collection, there’s an idea in there for every fashion watcher: If you’ve got jewelry, it’s time to bring it out and try piling it on all at once.”
So perhaps we mere mortals can take a lesson from the ivory tower of runway fashion. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Anything goes. If you’ve still got those rubber bangles from the 80s, put ’em on with your diamond necklace and that beaded choker you’re afraid to wear for fear it makes you look ‘easy’.
I may be getting a little couture-crazed, but if you don’t want to scare the neighbors, you at least have to get the full effect of the Lacroix jewelry dreamscape by checking out the dizzying pics on Style.com. And be sure to pair your viewing with a nice pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk. You’ll thank me for it later.
Last week we lamented the lack of diamonds, gemstones, gold – any sign of a jewelry statement on the Paris runways. And while we held out hope that situation would change, it was most definitely the hat that stole the season this year.
From Galliano to Gautier, Parisian audiences were treated to a theatrical showing of huge headwear and jaw-dropping fashion. Galliano’s Napoleonic military looks were balanced by his Little Bo Peep-inspired bonnets. His clothes were simple, flirty and floral with a line of dresses party girls will surely have on their racks for spring.
Jean Paul Gautier for Hermes channeled his inner cowgirl for a western inspired line spattered with cowboy hats, cigars and cactus – or is it cacti? And the always impeccable Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel stuck to basics with a black, white and gray palette accented by feather poof headdresses.
Marc Jacobs came to our rescue with the by now ubiquitous statement necklace as did fashionista favorite, Stella McCartney. But designers like Hussein Chalayan, fashion icon, Sonia Rykiel, and Bernhard Willhelm favored les chapeaux magnifique, instead, with looks that ranged from the geometric to the feline.
At the end of the day, the fashion world was runway weary after New York, London and Milan, but our hats are off to Paris for keeping the catwalks crackling – even if our favorite accessory was MIA. À bientôt, alors!
The runways in New York, London and Milan have spoiled us this season with big, bawdy jewelry statements that are downright gawk-worthy. Paris, on the other hand, is a ghost town in the bling department. To compensate, designers have apparently decided to put the gasp in headwear so spectacular any other accessory would be relegated to second-class citizen. And well, that’s just not where we want our jewelry now, is it?
Commes des Garcons models wore white wigs so large, Marie Antoinette herself would take a topple. Junya Watanabe’s line used cornucpia-sized head pieces to highlight his African prints and contrast his comfy criss-cross sandals. Icon Vivienne Westwood contributed her signature style to the beach hat genre and Yohji Yamamoto featured big black and white futuristic looks with his calm palettes.
Dior did come to our rescue with a line featuring statement necklaces, earrings and cuffs using what appears to be Buddha-inspired statues throughout. The clothes themselves didn’t hit high marks with the critics, but this jewelry hound was glad to see at least a little glitter where it belongs. This is the city of lights after all.
The week isn’t over yet, of course, so there are plenty more opportunities for designers to show us some diamonds, some gemstones, some gold – anything we can sink our teeth into. I can’t imagine we’ll see a complete dearth of the bling, but if these head strong Parisians don’t belly up?…I’ll eat my hat.