With security measures more noticeable across Paris this fashion season, and guests subjected to wand scans prior to every show, it has been challenging at times to maintain one's equanimity.
I'll admit, I haven't been the kindest to certain colleagues who use venue entrances and staircases as their personal office space, parking it in the doorway to check their likes on Instagram. Designers have had to try a little harder to keep everyone from having a meltdown over police barricades and identity checks.
But when they get things right, as Riccardo Tisci did at his Givenchy show on Sunday night, we'll put up with just about anything. It was chilly at the show, held outdoors at Paris's botanical garden, and the main event started nearly an hour late, but everyone wrapped themselves up in foil runners' blankets and some people even styled them like couture bows or fanciful skirts. And the collection was filled with wearable clothes with a light mineral motif and peppy stripes that looked far more relaxed and happy than Givenchy of late.
Stella McCartney's collection on its own was pretty fun on Monday morning, with just the right balance between terrific daywear (khaki shirts and ultrasuede skirts and dresses cut neatly enough to qualify as dressy casual) and surf-inspired prints on bodysuits and swimwear that were very, very street. The messages said "Thanks Girls," "No fur," and "No leather," so they were also in line with the McCartney ethos while being a little bit punk. A pair of heels rendered in black and white checkerboard, like an upscale pair of Vans, pretty much summed up this spirit of the show, which ended with a choreographed dance between camps of models who stormed back onto the runway with a charming islands-inspired dance.
This (and the Kardashian Kapers of the day) pretty much dominated everyone's Instagram feed for the next hour, which was partly the result of a smart move for the designer who was forced to cut back her audience considerably this season. This was because of security concerns for such a large crowd that normally attends her shows at the ornate Palais Garnier opera house. So she had to do a little song and dance. "We had a smaller audience so we wanted it to come closer with an emotional connection," McCartney said right after the show and noted that she decided to add the admittedly imprecise routine to emphasize the optimism of the collection. And, she said, "because I'm a crazy person."
"We practiced for two hours last night here at the opera," she said. "We felt like little children!"
The Sonia Rykiel collection opened with a fitting tribute to the label's founder, who died in August. The models walked out in black sweaters, each with a letter, spelling out Rykiel Forever as a group. And it ended with a shower of silver paillettes as confetti, which made this feel like a celebration. So did the collection by Julie de Libran, which showed a daring amount of irreverence with great big tunics and wide-legged pants made from expensive fabrics that had been shredded along the hems. I also loved the patchwork looks, which have been a surprising rustic trend here in Paris, seen in the loosest form at Loewe, where the patches were practically hobo-esque on a tent dress, and in the most refined at Hermès, where an elegant dress of overlapping black and charcoal squares and a camel skirt that showed subtle panels of moire pattern along the sides were the show winners.