Special Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief
Paris – the city of love, the cradle of European style and elegance. The city of light has inspired poets and artists for centuries, with its iconic art and architecture, cafe culture and air of romance. Paris is always a good idea in Audrey Hepburn’s opinion.
And whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant – said Honoré de Balzac.
The definition of female elegance differs depending on where you live. For instance, Italians are very fashion-conscious. They follow the trends religiously. The English are more extravagant. Americans are exaggeratedly perfect.
In a book „Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic“ by Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset, French actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner said: „American women are pulled together perfectly from the moment they wake up in the morning: perfect hair, varnished nails, high heels … as if they were bound for a cocktail party or some red-carpet affair. French women don’t bother their heads so much.“
Parisian style with the image of a tall, aristocratic Inès de la Fressange silhouette, sipping a glass of red Pinot Noir, smoking Gauloises, and walking down the street as if strutting down the catwalk, turned into myth.
Nowadays, French women are very practical. It is all about looking ‘naturelle’. Their golden rule is moderation and minimalism.
As we already know „Only great minds can afford a simple style.“
This rule was noticeable on the Parisian streets during Paris Fashion Week, which has been more of a marathon than a sprint.
FASHION IS NOT SOMETHING THAT EXISTS IN DRESSES ONLY
This famous quote belonging to Coco Chanel, legendary French fashion designer and style icon who ruled over Parisian haute couture for almost six decades, was perceptible on the catwalk during this year’s Paris Fashion Week SS15.
Chanel was a woman of many wise words and her influential quotes could fill an entire book.
A little more than a decade after her death, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to continue the Chanel legacy.
In the past Lagerfeld has been criticized for his negative comments about women.
He always courts controversy with his fashion shows as well. And he surprised again. Karl Lagerfeld created a fashion demonstration.
Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner and Georgia May Jagger, as well as the world’s richest model, Gisele Bündchen walked in his show holding a megaphone-wielding and a banner reading Women’s Rights are More than Alright, and a sea of placards reading Ladies First, History is Her Story, We Can Match the Machos and Boys Should Get Pregnant Too?
Media was flooded by titles and headers: Karl Lagerfeld’s new look for Chanel: feminist protest and slogans; Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld turns the Grand Palais into a feminist protest; Lagerfeld under fire after staging mock feminist protest at Paris Fashion Week.
In my opinion Chanel wasn’t making a political statement, especially when the apolitical designer famously said, „I’m in fashion. Politics is not my job.“ It is also worth remembering that one of Lagerfeld’s quotes is: „Everything I say is a joke. I myself am a joke.“ So what was he trying to say? They were just attracting attention by making noise and fuss, shouting about all that what is wrong with the world. Following this scent and continuing Coco Chanel’s quote we all have to admit that „Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.“
Marie-Helene Arnaud with a fish in Paris, 1957. Image credited to: Georges Dambier
STYLE & THE CITY
Leaving all feministic stuff behind, let’s concentrate on the real Parisian chic. The synonym of timeless classic, elegance and comfort. All this, we could see on the catwalk at the turn of the September and October 2014. The Paris Fashion Week was the finale of the „big four“ fashion weeks. From Louis Vuitton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga to Miu Miu, Avelon, John Galliano, Valentino, Yiqing Yin, Kenzo, Junya Watanabe, Gareth Pugh, Comme des Garcons or Guy Laroche.
The world’s best designers have always operated from Paris, which is currently home to the headquarters of some of them.
It is worth remembering that the concept of Haute Couture (‘high sewing’ | ‘high dressmaking’ | ‘high fashion’) also was invented in Paris and began in the 18th century.
Are you ready to see my favorite Spring / Summer 2015 Ready-To-Wear samples? Enjoy.
Gareth Pugh Collection, Source: Vogue.com