Good Reads
Paris Fashion Week

“India for me is an idea, I know nothing of reality,” Karl Lagerfeld says of his Chanel Pre Fall collection.

It was certainly no surprise that the Louis Vuitton SS2012 Womenswear show would be an opulent affair, but the beautiful macaroon-colored dresses showcased on a white carousel took it to the next level.

Three seasons into her role as lead designer for Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton still can’t shake Gaia, the all-encompassing mother of Earth, off her back. Perhaps it is that deep affinity Burton has to the mythological roots of feminine dictations that has allowed her to not only carry the weight of her former boss’ legacy so quickly, but has helped to anchor the brand in a vision of feminine strength that women, and buyers, find more accessible.

Models walk the runway at Elie Saab Spring / Summer 2012 during London Fashion Week.

She designed it in two weeks. Actually, 13 days. From the close of her Prada show in Milan straight on through the entire course of Paris Fashion Week, Miuccia Prada designed, sealed and delivered the entire collection of her little sister brand Miu Miu.

After a dark and tight lineup for fall, Marc Jacobs and his Louis Vuitton team did a huge about-face with a sugary and light collection for spring. Jacobs, a big fan of the fashion show-in-the round model, set up an enormous carousel in the Louvre’s Cour Carree, his delicate and very lady-like models sitting side-saddle, some of them looking like picture-perfect Monet subjects with their parasols in hand.

Bleached brows and clean skin exaggerated the monochromatic collection, giving the models an almost ghostly quality, ethereal and pure, pulling the look far away from sex and keeping it clean.

Riccardo Tisci always seems to have an animal in mind when he’s designing a collection for Givenchy. Cranes, rottweilers, panthers – they’ve all made it down this runway.

Glowing faces were clean, dewy and fresh. Cheeks were lightly bronzed, as if only slightly brushed by the rays of the sun. The only ornamentation to the eyes were two silver sequins, one for each eye, cut in half centered on the top and bottom lid like tiny sparkling moons.

It wasn’t obvious that Marc Jacobs was working a fetishistic cycle for fall 2011 until he showed his latest for Louis Vuitton right at the end of Paris Fashion Week.

It was the perfect mix of sensuality and ‘haute’ fetishism that should turn any Burton naysayer into a bonafide believer.

Karl Lagerfeld tackled the apocalypse in his latest collection for the venerated house of Chanel. Perhaps it was the Kaiser’s ultimate statement in the power of optimism, or at least the power of beauty over impending doom. In the sun-ridden world of the future, Lagerfeld provides the light.

Fashion’s favorite bad-boy, Riccardo Tisci, bequeathed the Givenchy woman with a ferocious growl to complement the large bite his men served for fall 2011.

The makeup is soft and simple, with just a hint of color on the cheeks, complimenting effortless, side swept hair. The illusion of a cropped coif strengthened the impression of the masculine, transforming each girl into a sleek and cool modern woman.

This season, the fashion world’s new go-to minimalist, Celiné’s Phoebe Philo, looked to the sporty and streamlined nature of sports cars as inspiration for yet another miraculous outing at the hot-again French house.

Riccardo Tisci makes a big statement about duality with this collection, highlighting panthers and pansies, both aggressive and fragile.

Like many designers this season, Christophe Decarnin looked to David Bowie for his fall 2011 outing at Balmain.

The show was an unashamed tribute to glamor, with models holding cigarettes in cigarette holders and donning turbans while wearing beautiful creations in a myriad of dark shades, although black was the dominating force in the collection.