Lanvin -

INTENSE SOPHISTICATION Paris: Alber Elbaz claims to design with the same theme in mind each season – beautiful clothes for sophisticated women – but his magic is in consistently realizing such a lofty goal and making it look effortless. The collection opened with airy looks in earthy taupes, with weightless pleated skirts that floated as models walked. Simple tees and leather ...
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Dévastée -

DARK  CHARM Paris: French designers Orphelie Klere and Francois Alary's have the twisted coquette look down pat. With a color palette that has almost always been restricted to stark black and white, the Paris-based label that formed in 2004 has become known for putting an edgy, slightly macabre twist on cute and wearable basics. Prim button-ups, slouchy knit sweaters, pleat-front carrot ...
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Felipe Oliveira Baptista -

SPORTY MOD Paris: Known for his modern, architectural couture collections, Felipe Oliveira Baptista seemed like an odd choice to take over design duties at preppy-jock purveyor Lacoste, as was recently announced. However, with this relatively wearable, Mod-meets-sport collection, Baptista showed that, perhaps, opposites do attract. Minimalism was the pervading mood, within the lens of the Mod movement, which added a fun, ...
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Gareth Pugh -

FUTURE PERFECT Paris: Gareth Pugh has always embraced technology and all things futuristic, and this season the young talent presented his collection in a jarring yet beautiful, sci-fi-inspired video rather than a runway show, making the catwalk seem clunky and old. Is this the end of the runway as we know it? Directed by up-and-comer and SHOWstudio collaborator Ruth Hogben, the ...
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Roland Mouret -

FRESH AND EASY Paris: After a five-year legal battle, Roland Mouret was finally able to drop the "RM" from his label, and so for him, spring was all about reinvention. The mind-bending origami construction and a few of his signature body-hugging sheaths remained, but the relaxed attitude that appeared last season continued full steam into spring. Loose, unbuttoned blouses, color-blocked camis ...
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Dior -

  SOUTH PACIFIC Paris: John Galliano's runway shows for Dior are always a cinematic experience, with models (and designer) in full character and costume – down to the fingernails. This season, a South Pacific storyline of sailor-meets-hula-girl-in-the-1940s played out on the runways, and true to form, dresses for both day and evening took center stage. Flirty, flouncy numbers were printed with ...
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Barbara Bui -

URBAN NOMAD Paris: Barbara Bui tapped into a number of major trends for S/S 11, like shades of camel, cropped motorcycle jackets and printed shorts. Her concept seemed to touch on far-flung references, from the desert to sports to military, but successful pieces emerged from the fray. Pieced leather jackets in experimental cuts, canvas minis with a mosaic of shiny ...
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A.F. Vandevorst -

GLAMOUR WARRIORS Paris: A.F. Vandevorst (Belgian husband-wife team An Vandevorst and Filip Arickxis) is one of those labels that adheres to an urban warrior aesthetic – a mix of structured armor-like pieces and draped cocooning layers, with a subtle lingerie-inspired sensuality at its core. This spring, the futuristic fembots went high-glam with gilded surfaces and red carpet-worthy gowns. Metallics were the ...
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Ann Demeulemeester -

GRAPHIC PROTECTION Paris: Ann Demeulemeester is a designer with a very clear and recognizable aesthetic, committed to a restricted palette, modern silhouettes, creatively edgy accessories and a darkly rock-and-roll influence. Season to season, she debuts new ways to interpret her favorite themes, experimenting with layering and proportion as well as materials and contrasts. For S/S 11 Demeulemeester added more structure than ...
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Rick Owens -

HAUNTING ELEGANCE Paris: Rick Owens’ dark elegance has inspired countless imitators, but this season’s collection demonstrated why none can compare to the original. Having said he was interested in control this season, Owens pared things down to serene, simple pieces that projected a haunting grace. The first look established the silhouette with a draped long dress made from weightless white silk, ...
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Nina Ricci -

ROSY OUTLOOK Paris: It seems that Peter Copping has gotten situated at Nina Ricci, as his vision for S/S 11 read decisively feminine. Ostrich feathers were sewn between frothy tiers on ruffled dresses, and pale pink leather bottoms looked soft and ladylike with gently cinched drawstring waists. Copping included something for every kind of girly-girl. For the demure delicate flower, there ...
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Balmain -

PUNK PRINCESS Paris: Christophe Decarnin’s glam rock looks from fall shifted to punk this season, as studs and safety pins adorned his signature distressed tees and tight leather pants. Motorcycle jackets – both denim and leather versions – were decked out with patches and the aforementioned hardware and were paired with slim cropped pants, daring leather miniskirts or the shortest of ...
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Damir Doma -

URBAN VAGABOND Paris: True to Stylesight's Moda Monastic trend, Damir Doma's vagabond ascetic developed a sensual, more cosmopolitan sensibility for spring. The humble, cocooning layers that define Doma's work were shaped into more defined and skin-baring silhouettes. Miniskirts and cropped tops were a surprising departure for the designer, adding a contemporary and a provocative counterbalance to his roomy pants and ...
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Zac Posen -

BOUDOIR BEAUTIES Paris: New Yorker Zac Posen brought his signature collection to Paris this season, claiming that Europeans respect his clothes more than his fellow countrymen. The French city’s 1920s heyday – and in particular, the legendary Folies Bergère – seemed to have been on Posen’s mind when he designed his coquettish collection. Racy lingerie looks – pieced lace, body stockings ...
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Hakaan -

STRUCTURED MINIMALIST Paris: After a buzzed-about debut in London last season, Hakaan Yildirim has already joined the majors and moved his show to Paris. Experimenting less with the tactile fabrics, feathers, and furs of last fall, Hakaan instead focused solely on the controlled silhouettes that are becoming his trademark. Monochromatically black or white, each look's message was all about construction and ...
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