ELLE Editor-in-chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 5
Kenzo, Céline and Givenchy stage brilliant shows, while Malaysians Khoon Hooi, Farah Khan and Melinda Looi showcase their own beautiful pieces
Day five started strong with the Kenzo show. I find immense entertainment in elaborate show productions, and Kenzo's one was pure win. The backdrop seemed innocent enough: a green wall with blue, white and holographic stripes. Then the music came on (a live performance by English dance-pop band Saint Etienne, who played two songs composed especially for the show) and a model walked to the middle of the wall. She began to walk forward as the wall followed her. As if that wasn't enough, six models were revealed behind the wall, walking in a row, then the wall broke off into seven sections and each model moved to stand in front of them. Oh, and did I mention that these columns were wireless? Mind: blown. The columns continued to twist and turn throughout the show, trying their very best to distract me (and succeeding on some occasions) from the clothes.
Luckily the models lined up against the magical wall, which rearranged itself in the middle of the show space, at the end so we all got to have a closer look at the collection. There was a notion of warmth in the clothes, with capes, blankets and lots of layers enveloping the body. Graphic jacquards, nocturnal floral prints and bright distorted stripes prevented the looks from being too winter-dreary. Carol Lim and Humberto Leon struck the right cool chord again this season, and there's no doubt that the hippest and chicest will be draping themselves in these looks come fall.
Kenzo AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
It was also nice to see Bhumika Arora, the Indian model that I styled for a fashion spread last season in Paris for our November '14 issue, at Kenzo, one of the hottest shows on schedule. Her star is definitely on the rise, having walked in the biggest shows this season including Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs in New York, Gareth Pugh and Jonathan Saunders in London, Fendi and Emilio Pucci in Milan, and Stella McCartney and Balmain in Paris. This is her breakout season for sure, and hers is definitely a face to watch. She is also extremely nice and humble. When I bumped into her backstage at Alexander Wang, we chatted for five minutes about how bad the cold weather in New York was for Asian skin, and how much we missed curry.
Next up was the Céline show. There was subtle provocativeness in the clothes. A heavy embroidered lace dress with blink-and-you'll-miss-it holes in random spots, sleeves on coats that unbuttoned to reveal the shoulders, but in a thick satin quilt-like material, and sweater dresses with revealing circular cut-outs at the back. This is Phoebe Philo. It's never going to be high slits and cleavage with the designer that makes clothes for serious women. But not so serious that they can't appreciate hand-drawn prints of cute, furry animals like otters, hares and foxes on silk shirts.
Céline AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
Standout accessories were the utilitarian pouch bags worn across the body, the extremely oversized Cabas bag and adorable fur pom-pom scarves casually slung over one shoulder.
Céline accessories (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
After the show, I headed to the metro station to get to my next venue. Now, there are several benefits of taking the metro. Firstly, for the most part, it gets you places much faster than taxis, plus the way the Parisian cab drivers drive makes me nauseous. Secondly, you get to spot lots of models who also take the metro after shows (they were carrying large Céline paper bags containing the handbags they were gifted for walking the show). And I also saw Australian actress Melissa George, who was front row at Céline, walking across the metro underpass. I thought she was about to pull a Keanu Reeves and take the metro herself, but just seeing her walk through the underpass was cool enough.
Melissa George (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
My next stop was Tranoi Montaigne, a fashion tradeshow that three of our Malaysian designers were at: Khoon Hooi, Farah Khan and Melinda Looi. Khoon Hooi's collection was stellar, as always, with amazing feather coats, skirts and sleeveless jackets. Over at Farah Khan, her fun sequinned pieces featured playing card motifs, namely the king and queen of hearts, aces in our books.
(L-R) Khoon Hooi; Farah Khan (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
Melinda Looi, who was at the prestigious Tranoi for the first time, showed a vibrant and opulent collection that was artsy and ethnic, the designer's signatures, with lush textures and prints.
Melinda Looi (Photo: ellemalaysia/Instagram)
Then my day took an unfortunate turn when my wallet was stolen right from my bag while I was on Champs-Élysées. I travel enough to know to keep my important documents safely in my hotel room and to separate my cash, but the moral of the story is don't go to Champs-Élysées, otherwise known as pickpocket central, when you're in Paris. Or if you must, hold on to your bags like your life (and wallet) depended on it.
But the show(s) must go on, and after a police report completed entirely in French (thank you, French lessons in high school and university), I raced straight to the Givenchy show and made it in time. And once the show started, it was enough to make me forget about my woes. Part Victorian lady, part chola girl, the moody collection featured midnight blue and black jacquard on peplum jackets and corseted coats, plush velvet dresses in bandana prints and heavily beaded tailcoats and gowns. One such gown in a rich burgundy, red carpet bound for sure, was paired with red sequinned pants, just to amp up the bling in case it wasn't enough. Speaking of, the bling on the model's faces, mimicking hardcore piercings but with a luxe, bejewelled twist, was fierce *insert chola hand gesture*.
Givenchy AW15 (Photo: Imaxtree.com)
Related: ELLE Ed-in-Chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 1
Related: ELLE Ed-in-Chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 2
Related: ELLE Ed-in-Chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 3
Related: ELLE Ed-in-Chief's Paris Fashion Week diary: Day 4