Paris Fashion Week A/W 2011


Joanne Black @ Maison Martin Margiela show


Chanel Show A/W 2011


Joanne Black & Magdalena Holman @ the Chanel show

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:

Show: Chanel
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.

Show: Celine
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.

MFW: Prada


Joanne Black @ Milan Fashion Week

Where: Milan
Joanne Black style:
Wolford body and tights, leather skirt, YSL heels and a Topshop jacket

There was much to talk about as the Fashion Week action switched to the streets of Milan in Italy – not least the exciting line-up of models on the Prada runway, which included Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes, Alessandra Ambrosio, Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Bianca Balti.

The Autumn/Winter 2011 Prada collection was as much about great clothes as it was a comment on what it means to be sexy in 2011. ‘Our vision of what is sexy in women is getting narrower,’ said designer Miuccia Prada backstage after the show. ‘It is all about bows and frills and clichés now. Women can’t seem to give these clichés up.’

You didn’t have to be a fan of shiny heels and sexy black lace, however, to enjoy Prada’s latest pieces. There were plenty of outfits designed to add an interesting twist to everyday office wear. With a mix of 50s-style long-sleeved wool dresses, bell skirts, high necks, A-line hems, cropped jackets, cable knits and patterned tights, Prada was certainly out to prove that the way to be sexy this autumn is to cover up!

Milan Fashion Week: Prada

Location: Prada HQ, Milan
Joanne Black style: Lanvin print dress, Georgina Goodman shoes, Chanel bag


A piece from the Prada Collection SS10

The collection: It was a floor-to-ceiling screen that turned Prada’s headquarters into a world of fantasy and fashion – complete with palm trees, beaches and doors in an Italian street. The scene provided the perfect backdrop for Prada’s much-anticipated S/S 2010 collection. Italy’s style elite was not disappointed. With fantastic grey jackets with visible thread detail, daisy flowers on white and grey dresses, cool shorts, palm tree prints and silk French knickers, this showed excited the senses – and the credit card!

The wish list: I simply loved the use of crystal embellishments within the collection – great for a statement piece to get you through the S/S season. I may be seeking out a pair of oversized clear goggles, which appeared throughout the show.

The style: Italy simply oozes style. Stars of the fashion and sporting world – including French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour (looking great in brown), Jefferson Hack and Roger Federer – were out in force to catch sight of Prada’s latest pieces. 

GQ Tribute to Terry Gilliam

Where: Electric Cinema
Joanne Black Style:
Black Prada dress (a recent sales purchase) and a YSL belt.


Joanne Black @ the In house screening of Time Bandits

It’s not every Monday you get to spend the evening in the Fortress of Darkness – containing Absolute Evil and a boy called Kevin – wearing Prada and surrounded by a whole host of stars. But earlier this week, at the Electric’s screening of the 1981 film Time Bandits, I did just that.

In the company of the film’s director and writer Terry Gilliam, who looked effortlessly stylish in jeans and a black jacket with rolled up sleeves, it would have been difficult not to have a fantastic evening. The film itself was great, and the Monty Python aspects reminded me of the time of I went to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Broadway with friend and producer Dany Wolf.


Joanne Black and Terry Gilliam

I remember it so well because I happened to be sitting under the Holy Grail and ended up being taken on stage to sing with the cast. It was very surreal.

It wasn’t only Terry, however, who put in a show-stopping off-screen performance. Lily Cole looked like Botticelli’s Venus in a cream figure-hugging lace dress; actor Mike Edmonds – who played Og in the movie – paired an interesting navy shirt covered in flowers with a beige jacket; GQ editor Dylan Jones opted for a sharp suit and Verne Troyer (aka Mini-Me from Austin Powers) wore a pinstripe waistcoat with a white shirt, hoop earring and diamond Rolex watch. Thankfully, I managed to escape unscathed from Absolute Evil’s lair, but I’m not sure Monday nights will ever be the same again!