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Karl Lagerfeld:

Karl Lagerfeld calls it the “bridge shoulder” — the big, strong, square shoulder hitting Paris like a bombshell.  The German-born, Paris-beloved designer used the shoulder line as home base for a bevy of exciting designs and materials from fur to baubles, giving all his newest clothes a very opulent and extravagant look.  Important in this latest collection were huge sailor boy collars, brilliant colors, and long, natural hair.  The designer also showed lovely little fur scarves pulled tight around the neck, and very big hats covered with colorful baubles.  But above it all, crowning the collection, were those huge bridge shoulders. Wild!


Lagerfeld for Chanel:

Of course, that wasn’t all from the famed Lagerfeld field.  His fun and girlie fashions brought pale pink to the forefront of fall designs, with plenty of knits and ruffles and bows and lace.  A pink cable knit hat that sat on the head like a birthday cake was a standout. His clear Lucite-like carry-all case was a fresh new look for handbags, especially for the elegant Chanel label.  It had special compartments for several different cosmetic pieces in the Chanel beauty line, as well as a center compartment for a little clutch bag, all immediately visible for easy finding.

                —Ahh..but how many women want the contents of their bags so readily seen?


Lagerfeld was big on black, of course, as well as classic lines and styles.  Here were plenty of Edwardian styles, and 80s retro.  Shine and glitter excited his fashion, along with black leggings and lots of white flowery necklets.  Shoes were as insane as elsewhere, also as creative.  Heels were, well…what can we say?  Sky-high. 


More accessories included gold bracelets, big rings, and smallish belts with interesting buckles.







  • Swiggly tennis bracelet in gold tone with black/clear or multicolored stones





  • Murano style glass rings in translucent glass with tinted hues – many colors.  This is modern European design at its best!



Valentino split his attention between magnificent gowns, which he is always known for, and wonderful, classic slack suits, many somewhat slouchy, a la Katherine Hepburn.    Slacks suits tended toward neutrals, with one great-looking outfit in basic, but in no way boring, tan.  Opulent gemstone colors were hot for eveningwear, as in his emerald green satiny cocktail dress with matching clutch bag.  A long sheath of brilliant blue with very ornate neckline had a particularly Grecian look. 



Perhaps taking inspiration from “The Great Lagerfeld,” black remained an important color – perhaps the most important -in Paris fashion for fall. From the design house Akris came a long black low-cut dress filled with sequins.  Also featured was a simple black mini dress over tight black tights (seen everywhere).  Dark gray played second to black as an essential color for Fall 09. 


Junya Watanabe

Japanese designer Junya Watanabe won the first standing ovation at the Paris runway shows with his stunning takes on romance and modern femininity. Here were body-hugging fashions with real power, hour glass jackets, and hips shaped on metallic hoops.                                   Watanabe also showed a satiny gray jacket with semi-space-helmet neckline, very puffy and seamed, typical of his mindset for this remarkable collection. There was also a very strange looking dark gray ruffled and draped dress, voluminous and eeery looking.  Ohhh!



Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy was strong on big shoulders, stovepipe sleeves, careful tailoring, and often severe asymmetry.  Many of his clothes were black or gray, again echoing the general temper of the market this year.  There was a lot of strong contrast here, too.  Outfits that were sweet and yet rough. Tailored pants and skirts with feminine, draped blouses.  White jerseys with feathers and bows.  Overall, the designer strung piles and piles of pearls and chains.  In his tougher moments, these bejeweled accessories turned into studs. 









Victor and Rolf:

Colors here were key to a fashion exposition reflecting “the need for stability,” as the designers put it. The big colors in the collection:  blush, grey black and brown. Dark, like so much design in Paris these days.  Draping and sculptural shaping was also paramount. 


Ann Demeulemeester:

Again, this was a somber collection, brooding, almost foreboding, dark and yet highly romantic.  Fashions were essentially deconstructed. There was a lot of splicing and draping, bunching and folding.  Long shirts and slouchy skirts were handsome, casual.  The designer’s equestrian motifs were particularly luxe, in a relaxed country-estate sort of way.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, April 3rd, 2009

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