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March 12, 2009updated Feb 11, 2013

EXCLUSIVE! Paris Show Updates

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

By Tanya Dukes

Moncler Gamme Rouge
Giambattista Valli’s work for Gamme Rouge, the elegant, evening-ready line for sporty outerwear brand Moncler, completely re-imagines the possibilities of the workaday puffer coat. The designer’s womanly, dressed up approach translates into expertly finished, shapely garments done in refined shades of champagne, black, cream and whimsical prints that mimic the look of chinchilla. Edwardian-style, jeweled zipper pulls, crystal studded ornaments and super chic satin bows on cropped capes, hourglass coats with stand-up collars and floor length ball skirts, are just the thing for sub-zero Cinderellas. And Moncler’s technical know-how ensures they’re as warm as they are beautiful.

The glamorous, pioneering spirit of early aviation was the key inspiration for Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest collection from Hermès. Models donned leather flight caps, bomber jackets and relaxed jodhpurs à la Lindbergh. The sporty, luxurious edge carried through in jumpsuits and pencil skirts in supple leather, second skin pants, and jaunty blouson jackets in slate, mahogany, black and chestnut. And for evening, silk charmeuse halters like those seen on 1930s screen goddesses ruled the day. In another retro move of more recent vintage, 80s supermodel Tatiana Patitz reprised her catwalking duties to make the last exit of the show.

Just when it seems impossible to plumb the Chanel signatures in a new way Karl Lagerfeld does it again. The centerpiece of many of the looks was a play on the white georgette blouse that is one of the brand’s hallmarks. It burst forth atop floor grazing dresses in frothy ruffs and stock-straight collars. Little black dresses were slashed with down-to-the-navel necklines and tweed jackets adopted exaggerated bows or pocket flaps in mismatched fabrics. The overall effect was a fresh, irreverent approach to some of fashion’s best-loved classics.

With Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli at the helm, Valentino has regained the classically ladylike look it possessed when the original master designed the collection. There’s as much opulence as ever poured into pieces like capes fitted with underlying jackets and edged in fox trim or crystal trimmed satin columns reminiscent of Jackie O. Day dresses in ruched, pleated degrade silk verge on couture quality. It’s easy to see that the current design team once led the accessories arm of the brand; there’s been lavish attention placed on endless versions of hobo bags, scaled down totes, platform pumps, costume jewels and more.

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