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Balenciaga:

Is this for real?  In a dramatic Frenchie-inspired collection, Nicolas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga put emphasis on the hips – yes, the hips! – in a gloriously womanly grouping of dresses, gowns, and pantsuits. The designer played expertly with draping and tailoring, presenting a voluptuous figure such as we haven’t seen in a long, long, time. 

 

Colors and sparkle were strong here, along with embroidery, satins, and lace.  Unorthodox combinations also enlivened the collection, such as silver and black shiny materials with tweeds.  The overall impression was sensual, sexy, rich and even ingenious, as the designer put forth wonderful colors such as ivory with grey and soft pink, blacks and navy’s, blues and grays.  

 

Modern wide and smooth cuffs (worn two at a time) with chunky chain bracelets furthered the silver look. Bracelets, by the way, were the Number One jewelry at this and almost all other Paris couture houses this year.

 

                                             Space Age Inspired

 

Nina Ricci:

Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci put forth a fascinating futuristic collection that was remarkably wearable.  He featured skinny little dresses with turtleneck undershirts, skinny tights with comfy overtops, a brilliant blue evening dress like something out of Star Wars, shiny, sculptured, with hip emphasis and a rather heavy train. 

 

Glitter gave the collection plenty of glam, along with iridescent materials, beading, bright red ruffles and more! Shoulders were dominant. The models here wore bracelets (skinny and wide bangles), boots, and some crazy shoes, and carried little clutch handbags down the runway with them.

 

PARIS IS ALWAYS PARIS.  BUT YOU CAN GET INIMITABLE FRENCH STYLE WITHOUT THAT MAJOR PRICE TAG. TRY THESE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balmain:

More sequins, studs, crystals and shoulder emphasis reigned at Balmain as the company’s top designer, Christophe Decarnin, showed a sexy collection complete with  black leather and chains, flashy t-shirts and low-cut, high-hemmed little dresses.

 

Dior:

Want fun? Look to John Galliano for Christian Dior, who shook up the Paris runway shows with a wild-looking hairpin hat (or was it a hairdo?), heavy black choker, and almost neon spring green dress. For fall, Galliano inundated himself in Eastern and Middle Eastern lore, with Persian styles, colors and patterns.  Lots of gauzy, see-through materials gave the show a wildly exotic look. 

 

Corsets with fox fur were, if nothing else, different, giving a special MalMaison touch to French couturier fashion.  Long, long intricate necklaces were set off by skinny corded chokers.  Many classic outfits in suits and dresses were beautifully executed, with brocades, silver shimmer, chiffon, and embroideries. 

 

                                    ’09 Focus:  On the Hips

 

Lanvin:

Lanvin continued the hip emphasis with soft peplums and draping.  Fur stoles were elegant.  Again the design house was resplendent with glitter.  For the young, plenty of Biker Tough looks, very metallic.

 

Long black gloves and medium sized leather handbags, along with feathered headpieces, were exciting.  The designer also showed plenty of skinny little belts, emphasizing the waist with panache.

 

Yves Saiint Laurent:

Stefano Pilati’s collection for Yves Saint Laurent centered on power-play suits and dresses, and smart, sophisticated colors, including black and white and gentle brown-grays. Haberdashery woolens were big in suits, and the fine tailoring carried over to long jackets and shortie-short skirts over tights. Pilati also put forth a tight-fitted jacket suit with major emphasis on a belted waist and 7/8 sleeves, just right for bracelets. 

 

                                       The Little Black Dress

 

Stella McCartney:

Out of the Stella McCartney camp came more black, this time in the little black dress mode, very chic, classic, and refined.  McCartney’s tailoring was superb, clean, sophisticated.  Lapels on coats and jackets were elongated, many with skinny belts.  McCartney is a sincere animal rights advocate; consequently, no leather.  Ahhh, but no sweat!  Her Biker Jacket is as tough and fashionable as any in its shiny man-made black material.  Same with her thigh-high boots – great looking, without the cost of killing. . 

 

Black ran through McCartney’s entire collection.  Her faux black fur jacket is delightful, with its big, metallic-buckled belt, and long, long boots.  Likewise, a sexy black gown with lace insets was terrific design and very provocative!

 

Christian LaCroix:

Christian LaCroix showed a collection based on simple lines and respectable tailoring.  He showed handsome pea-coats in rich blue, peplumed jackets and flared pants. Many of the fabrics were shiny, and the fit was generally tight, especially in jackets.   He also featured draped blouses and dresses, very feminine.  In jewelry, Lacroix played the minimalist game, with just a handsome brooch or cocktail ring or chain link necklace.

 

Lacroix’s blacks were full of verve and intensity, like a little black fuzzy fur suit with big jacket and tiny-mini skirt, all topped by a big pink fur necklet.

 

LOOKING FOR THAT EPONYMOUS EUROPEAN CLASS?  TRY THESE FOR FINISHING TOUCHES:

  • Dramatic wholesale crystal brooch imitates a spider mum with narrow marquis crystals shooting out from the center.  Rich.

 

 

 

 

  • Simple, refined 18-inch snake chains in gold or silver plate.  Wear them plain or with your own pendant.  Very sophisticated.

 

 

 

 

(Continued)

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


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