ELLE Editor-in-Chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 7
Day 7 is Andrea's busiest day, with Chanel, Valentino (yes, where that Zoolander thing happened), Shiatzy Chen and three resees
The first show of the day was Chanel, and it was a good thing I didn't have time to have breakfast before the show, because the massive show space at the Grand Palais was transformed into the Brasserie Gabrielle, sporting the décor of a typical French restaurant found on every corner in Paris. I had my pick of French pastries in baskets, hard-boiled eggs on two-layered stands, orange and grapefruit juices, all kinds of coffees and teas and, of course, champagne, all served by dapper garçons behind the bar. After an espresso and a mini pain au chocolat, I took my seat and watched as a café scene unfolded before my eyes.
Brasserie Gabrielle (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
Models entered through revolving doors, did their prerequisite walk around the space, and then casually proceeded to sit themselves down at the bar, tables and booths, hang up their coats, order drinks with the waiters, air kiss other models who joined them and even take selfies. Exactly the sort of thing that you and I would do at a restaurant. Only thing is that this was the chicest restaurant that I've ever been to.
Models on the Chanel AW15 runway (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
It was one of the strongest and most coherent collections that Karl Lagerfeld has presented at Chanel in recent memory. Admittedly, it would be hard to have a collection of usually more than 80 looks (97 this season!) feel cohesive yet not repetitive. But this season there was a strong underlying spirit that tied all the looks together, with enough variety to keep our eyes glued until the very last model walked through those revolving doors. It was la vie quotidienne, but à la Chanel, so skirt suits and knee-length dresses were interpreted in new-season tweeds, blouson jackets sported three-dimensional quilting, parkas came in blanket checks with sparkly embellishments and eveningwear was done in feminine tuxedo styles.
Chanel AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
The plat du jour at Brasserie Gabrielle, however, was undoubtedly the clutch that resembled two ceramic plates. Very dishy.
Chanel clutch (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
Then it was off to the new Céline headquarters, housed in a beautiful mansion built in the 1600s, for the resee. Getting the opportunity to touch and feel the clothes fresh from the runway is a wonderful privilege, not to mention being able to see up close the accessories that I might have missed during the show. Feeling the softness of the duvet coat, noticing the random holes on the heavy embroidered lace pieces and realising that there were embellishments on the mid-heel shoe, these are all things that added so much more context to the collection. I also got to see just how large the oversized Cabas bag was against my small frame. Made me love it even more.
Céline shoe and bag (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
And then came the moment of fashion week that broke the Internet. The really, really ridiculously good looking boys from Zoolander made a glorious return to the runways just before the finale of the Valentino show, and the fashion crowd went mad. People were singing along to the catchy chorus of The Human League's Don't You Want Me, screaming like fan girls as Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strutted past them and documenting the heck out of the moment for the world to see via their Instagram feeds. I've never been more thankful for a front row seat, which allowed me to capture Derek Zoolander throwing off his jacket, stealing the phone right off French Vine and Snapchat star Jerome Jarre's hands and then 'Blue Steel'-ing it all the way backstage with the camera pointed at himself. They could not have announced Zoolander 2 in a better way.
There's no denying that Derek and Hansel are the ultimate scene-stealers, but their epic walk-off certainly did not detract anything from the always stellar Valentino collection. Yes, the stunt was hugely entertaining, but it was only mere moments before that I was completely mesmerised by the Valentino show. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were inspired by two women this season, Celia Birtwell, the wife of Ossie Clark and muse to David Hockney, and Emilie Louise Flöge, couturier and longtime companion and frequent subject of Gustav Klimt. The designer duo picked these women because, according to the show notes, they "share a singular approach to life: they combine fragility and sensuality and give strength and depth to feminine grace." The breathtaking dresses embody this perfectly, from delicate layered dresses in the sheerest tulle, a black trapeze dress emblazoned with a Chinese dragon (created in collaboration with Birtwell), and couture-grade gowns embroidered with Viennese patterns.
Valentino AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
With Don't You Want Me firmly playing on a loop in my brain, I made my way to Avenue Montaigne for the Givenchy resee. Seeing the opulent Victorian-inspired collection up close, with its heavy beadwork, rich jacquards and plush velvets was tactile dream, but nothing prepared me for the incredible craftsmanship that went into the mink jacket of look 37. A mink jacket that looked deceivingly like it was printed in a peacock feather motif was in actuality hand sewn, strip by strip, to create the intricate pattern. It took more than a month to make this piece. Exquisite is an understatement.
Givenchy jacket (Photo: Getty Images)
Down the road was the Dior resee, where I realised that the top-and-skirt looks that I originally thought were in a liquid metallic silk or satin material were in fact in patent leather in a fine mesh, which made it that much cooler and edgier. I also got to pick up and try on the new bag of the season, the Dune bag, in exotic beige python with brown spots and in blue and black stripes in a tie-dye effect.
A closer look at Dior (Photo: Getty Images)
Finally, it was the Shiatzy Chen show, which brought me full circle back to the Grand Palais. With a sparkling ice wall serving as a backdrop, the snow-white coats and jackets lined in fur that closed the show made perfect sense. But the Taiwanese designer offered much more than that, a burnt orange leather coat with Oriental landscape embroidery, a vibrant watercolour printed dress and a lush fur coat in a soft peony pink.
Shiatzy Chen AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
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