PFW COVERAGE: Raffia Couture

Finally Friday, my sweet readers! Here in Italy, we are having a long, long weekend but a blogger’s duties never stop! Here I am with the first post about PFW and the 13th from our coverage series. We are almost done, I swear. I can’t wait to wrap this up and post more fabulous trends and wintery outfits. In the meantime, Paris is always a good idea! To open up the French reviews, we have an impressive line-up (who am I kidding, all the shows from Paris are nothing but stellar). For you, this Friday, Rochas eternal romance, Balenciaga’s innovative shapes, Dries Van Noten’s beautiful mash-up, Carven’s Parisian swag and last, but not least, Balmain’s raffia couture. Are you ready to rumble?

ROCHAS

Rochas and its ethereal aesthetics have always been among my favorite from the Paris bunch. Not only because of the beautiful prints, but because I’m all about brands with a romantic vibe. For Spring 2012, it was a lavender heaven with touches of French grey, Raspberry and White. The collection had a retro chic feel to it, but there was also something sporty about it. Marco Zanini presented a large range of shapes and cuts: Double-breasted jackets intended as dresses, sheer and flowy maxi-skirts, hot pants + bralet ensembles, hourglass dresses with midi lengths. The polo shirts (biggest trend so far in the neckline department). One of the highlights? He played matchy, matchy and it worked beautifully. As for the accessories, round sunnies, head wraps and white, sock-like shoes.

BALENCIAGA

There’s no doubt that Nicolas Ghesquiere has the x-factor when it comes to innovative skills. Season after season, the designer has always had raving reviews and while Balenciaga’s shapes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, he always manages to get all heads turning his way. For Spring 2013, he may have toned down the sharpness a notch. The shapes were beautiful and architectural, but not as boxy and structured. For the first half of the show, Ghesquiere built some dramatic ruffles into skirts and dresses (hello, gorgeous peplum). Then came the volume skirts with the asymmetrical pleats. Pairing them up with simple, knitted cropped tops was beyond genius. The skin flashing matched beautifully the almost neutral color palette.

For the second part of the show, he entered the “tweed” zone with simple mini skirts and his interpretation of the ladylike jacket. For the tops, he kept it cropped and the hemlines, he kept those short and sexy enough (an unsual thing for Balenciaga). As for the finale, those meticulous, laser-cut, detailed dresses were the cherry on top of that French cake. As for the footwear, always a highlight, low-cut booties in burgundy, cream and black. The front row? Overall, lovely and easier to wear than usual.

DRIES VAN NOTEN

This collection has to be dubbed the queen of all mash-ups. Dries Van Noten really hit the ball ot of the park this Fashion Week. A collection so complex and so visually appealing at the same time: the colors, the shapes, the textures, the tailoring, a lot of fabulous things to take in on one runway show. It was grungy, but it was so damn chic. The plaid tops (in different colors and shapes) blended in to perfection with the floral prints and embellishments. There was a touch of sheer and sexy, some velvet here and there and even some ladylike, retro dresses. The best part of the show? The beautifully crafted, rosette skirts (particularly the one with the pastel shades). As for the shoes, pumps galore: metallic, printed, with laces, with cutouts, you name it!

BALMAIN

When Christophe Decarnin’s departure was announced, everyone grieved. When Olivier Rousteing was appointed Creative Director, some eyebrows were raised. Could the really young apprentice take on such a big responsibility? After this show (and last season’s runway), the answer is abso-effin’-lutely. The designer has done a wonderful job so far, keeping the cool chick vibe Decarnin built but also taking it to a whole new level. Remember the signature, fitted jacket? Olivier has turned it into a boxier and sharper one. The leg-flashing mini dresses? He has made them his own with unique textures (hello, raffia) and beautiful tailoring. He had made clear why a top costs so much, there’s just a lot of work in them, a work of art.

His references were clear: the 80’s all the way. Big shoulders, cropped tops, big, high-waist trousers, black & white stripes and leather skirts. The star of the show? The pale blue, yellow and cream woven number (that’s going to be more photographed than Prada’s striped dress from Spring 2011). The accesories were also detailed and woven, peep-toe booties, statement belts and sharp pumps. Hands down, a stunning collection. If this beautiful man (because he is not only talented, but also gorgeous) keeps doing what he is doing, Balmain will remain on top (where his teacher Christophe left it).

CARVEN

What’s not to love about Guillaume Henry’s Parisian ladies. Season after season, he delivers chic and wearable clothes that we can’t help but drool after. For his Spring 2012 show, he presented a bunch of beautifully tailored and feminine pieces. Almost every ensemble was accompanied by cute and classic collars. Some of the dresses presented chest cutouts, the tops were cropped (mini jumpers never looked so good), skirts were perforated and there was Toilè. Yes, you heard me, Toilè. Pardon my excitement, but as a serial Francophile, this is really my cup of tea. It was another French delight from Carven, thank God for Carven!

LOOK OF THE DAY

Mixing florals and leopard print is always an interesting option. For a French twist, the jumper over a dress with a volume skirt and ankle-strap shoes. For accessories, the golden treatment!

1. Leopard Jacket, DKNY
2. Floral jumper, Dolce & Gabbana
3. Black dress, MAJE
4. Black wedges, ZARA
5. Pelican bag, ALEXANDER WANG
6. Black bangle, KATE SPADE
7. Leopard bangle, J. CREW
8. Ring pack, ASOS
9. Infusion prune nail polish, LANCOME

For all the details on today’s look, go to Fashiolista.

There you go, first five from Paris are up! It’s Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend?

Sweet kisses…

Illustrations: Ana Sofia Alanis
Image sources: style.com, Zara, My Theresa, ysl, Polyvore, River Island

All texts, illustrations and collages are made by me, it’s forbidden to re-post without previous request (sweetnrawme@gmail.com) and images must link back to this site

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “PFW COVERAGE: Raffia Couture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s