Paris is a catwalk to which all are invited – but only the best-dressed are accepted. This city of chic is perfect if you want to shop, eat (two of my favourite hobbies) and experience the best in women’s fashion. By staying at the Hotel George V – not to mention dining at venues such as L’Avenue and Le Matignon thanks to the owner my good friend Gilbert Costes – I was well-placed to see it all.
Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without a glimpse of the latest A/W fashion scene. Although the Galliano scandal cast a rather dark shadow over this year’s proceedings, the collections did not disappoint. Here are my highlights:
Joanne Black style: Sharon Wauchob trousers, Alexander Wang top, Proenza Schouler Jacket, Balmain boots, YSL bag, Chanel necklace, sunglasses and gloves
Chanel ready to wear will be seeing a lot of me this season. The collection was every bit as exciting as the sensational show opening – think volcanic rocks from a science fiction film and a Chanel logo that opened up like a drawbridge to reveal some rather stunning models.
Once the stage smoke had cleared, we were treated to a much younger themed collection without the usual pretty pastel shirts and jackets. In came the short bolero jackets, flat boots, kitten heels and even a backless black sparkly all-in-one evening number that would rival most gowns on the red carpet. Model Freja Beha Erichsen rocked the runway in a cool street chic look, with rolled up trousers and flat mountain climbing boots. It certainly wasn’t hard to pick out great pieces – it was just difficult to keep track of everyone with all these flat shoes! I nearly missed designer Karl Lagerfield because things were moving so fast.
Top spots include Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt who was chatting to Kanye West (she wore Isabel Marant canvas boots, which I’d just bought the previous day). It was also good to see Alexa Chung and Lily Allen flying the Chanel flag.
Joanne Black style: Celine dress jumper, Jitrois leggings, Prada boots and Chanel sunglasses
Automotive interiors and walnut dashboards provided the inspiration for Phoebe Philo’s A/W collection – and what a collection it is! This woman designs the way I like the dress. Philo knows how to make fitted boyish-themed clothes work and her trousers seem to slide on effortlessly.
The year’s warm autumn colours – browns, burgundy, creams, orange, mustard etc – have turned more than a few heads. Up in the front row I spotted the American Vogue team Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman and Andre Leon Talley wrapped up in a LV blanket. Top photographers Mario Sorrenti and Patrick Demarchelier also made an appearance, reinforcing the appeal of this Brit star’s work.
With Celine in my life, I think my A/W wardrobe is pretty much sorted. I already have a wish list the length of my arm – including a blue, grey and burgundy sweatshirt, a jade green and black silk layered top and some fantastic black trousers. That’s if I have room after buying up the leather burgundy coat and doctor bag.
Show: Martin Margiela
Joanne Black style: Balmain trousers, Joseph top, Prada boots, YSL bag, Isabel Marant earrings and Chanel sunglasses
A bare industrial building behind the Palais de Tokyo made the perfect setting for Margiela’s latest collection. With a dark vibe and models walking down the runway at a pace that would rival a funeral march, it was hard to miss any of the show’s pieces – which were all based on the study of a dress.
It’s amazing what you can create when you start with a dress. A few well-placed cuts, openings and zips – not to mention a range of materials from heavy wool and felt padded fabrics to ponyskin and cashmere – has enabled this fashion house to add new meaning to an often simple piece of clothing. I have my sights set on a plum and red number and will definitely be adding a few of their accessories – including a large leather clutch – to my ever-expanding wardrobe.