I adore fashion. I always have. When I was a kid, men didn’t have as many options as women. Guys only had suits, but women seemed to have the world. And so I started reading all the women’s fashion magazines my mom had in the house to stoke my envy, and my interest has not waned. Because of this appreciation for women’s finery, InStyle asked me, Paul Feig, to review a handful of the fall 2018 haute couture shows that took place in Paris. In the spirit of modernity (and time- and cost-saving measures), I studied the collections from the front-row comfort of my laptop. Please enjoy.
First, an admission. There is nothing I would love more than to be friends with Valentino Garavani so that he would invite me on his yacht in the Mediterranean as he does Anne Hathaway and Gwyneth Paltrow, but that will never happen. The closest I’ll come is admiring the collection that bears his name, which is excellently designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli. I found his use of colors and classic outlines extremely fun and inspiring, not to mention gorgeous. There’s such a sense of visual drama to this collection, as if a 1930s colorized version of The Thin Man collided with a Lincoln Center opera première. It was truly divine.
Wow, what a collection! Much like the Valentino show, there was a classic elegance to these outfits, especially the gowns. It made me want to make a movie set in high-society New York City, filled with Champagne, caviar, and old-fashioned supper clubs. This show is what couture is all about; it’s aspirational and conjures a beautiful world brimming with style. Bravo, Mr. Armani!
If I made an updated version of 2001: A Space Odyssey and wanted to add a futuristic gala scene, I’d hire Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller to design the clothes for it. This collection had such a geometric grace, which made it feel very grown-up and innovative. And I liked the few men’s suits she threw into the mix. I think I could pull one of those off ... on a good day. Are you listening, Ms. Waight Keller?
This show wins the Paul Feig Award for most dramatic collection. I loved how the outfits ran the gamut of eras and inspirations. It was so colorful and fun and yet so flattering to the wearer. Schiaparelli designer Bertrand Guyon achieved an amazing creative feat that I could only hope to match one day as a filmmaker.
My wife gave me an appreciation for Chanel suits years ago, so I’ve always been able to recognize Chanel pieces when I walk down a street full of stylish people. Being a fan of men’s suits, I have a real love of women’s suiting when it’s done right. Obviously, Chanel is the gold standard for this. In my new movie, A Simple Favor, Blake Lively based her character’s look on the way I dress, and the result is stunning and powerful.
In my dream version of Paris, everyone would dress like the models in the Dior show. (And not just because of the berets! Give me some credit here.) The simple lines, the delicate colors, and the nostalgic feel are right out of my Umbrellas
of Cherbourg fantasy. I’ll admit, these clothes made me feel pretty swoony. Yes, that’s how much I admire women’s fashion!
Well, I wanted fun and playful, and John Galliano certainly gave it to me. There was an old Three Stooges short called Slippery Silks in which they are furniture builders who end up designing clothes for a fashion show. All the outfits they create look like bedroom dressers and chests of drawers. This show feels as if the Stooges found a sleeping bag-and-belt outlet store and went to town. It’s a collection that asks the age-old question, “How do you go to the bathroom in that outfit?” But I totally dug this collection — because how could you not?
For more stories like this, pick up the October issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Sept. 14.