PARIS — Retailers groped for superlatives to describe an exhilarating Paris Fashion Week, which ended on Monday afternoon.
They praised spring-summer collections loaded with creativity and salability, from cropped peplum jackets and fuller skirts to filmy blouses and knockout eveningwear. Here’s what buyers had to say:
Sue Patneaude, executive vice president of designer apparel, Nordstrom: “Paris was solid. It was happy, innocent, feminine and romantic. There were many strong items: Chanel’s wonderful crochet lace hand-worked sleeves and Dior’s fabulous lace and denim peplum jackets. We were very happy with Yves Saint Laurent. We liked the parkas at Stella McCartney and Chloé, the fuller feminine skirts at Valentino and Alexander McQueen’s lampshade silhouette. Sonia Rykiel’s show was terrific. The season was all very salable. The four items to buy for the season are: a piece of lace crochet, a signature floral print, a full-sleeved proportion and a full skirt.”
Hirofumi Kurino, general manager and chief creative director, United Arrows Ltd., Tokyo: “This season, there was a perfect balance between a creative image and commercial value. Lanvin and Chloé were two of the strongest collections in Paris this year. There’s something very positive about Phoebe Philo’s collection; she really knows what women want to wear. As for trends, there was a lot of draping, such as Sophia Kokosalaki’s Olympian draping, which she paired with soft fabrics such as jerseys and silks. There is still a trend toward femininity but, whereas the styles used to be girly, today they are geared toward a much more mature woman. Again, Chloé and Lanvin did a very good job of capturing that spirit. I also think that cropped jackets and ethnic styles will be very popular.”
Evelyn Gorman, owner, Mix, Houston: “I feel as if I have seen some of the best collections in Paris in the past three years. Jean Paul Gaultier was exceptional and Nicolas Ghesquière showed his talent for creation, but folded it into a wearable collection. Helmut Lang, Rochas and John Galliano were extraordinary, as well. We are swinging back to real things people can wear. We see a turn to more of a covert sexuality compared to an obvious one with all the bareness. In terms of trends, there are shorts to the knee and shrunken jackets. Also thin scarves that wrap around the neck will be a big accessories trend.”
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"