I wore: REDValentino Cape, Hobbs NW3 Shirt, AllSaints Skirt, Alice + Olivia Bag & Kurt Geiger Shoes
Image c/o The Nyanzi Report
In retrospect getting an Uber cab was both lazy and stupid. There really are few things more irritating than sitting in stationary traffic to the tune of 30 euros when just taking the metro would have got you there in a third of the time for almost a thirtieth of the price. Luckily Collette dissipated my increasing rage at life and everyone in it with a collection that was oozed joyful, girlish prettiness. The Australian designer treated us to an array of sweet summer treats ranging from separates and sundresses in white broderie anglaise to colour pop frocks adorned with appliqué florals and scarlet shorts featuring intricate cut work and bow belts.
Collette Dinnigan SS14
Carefully thought out details such as floral embellished spaghetti straps, ruched chiffon waistbands and contrast coloured ribbon panels kept the collection’s prettiness polished while the girly innocence of it all was undercut with the slightest hint of boudoir by way of peek-a-boo sheers and peeping lace bralets. Yep, anyone who thinks they’re not going to be flashing a (tasteful) bit of flesh next season better dream on. The show concluded with a succession of evening looks ranging from floor sweeping, ethereally beautiful gowns of delicate lace with waists cinched by trailing ribbon to dramatic silk navy numbers sparkling jewels.
All earlier taxi anger erased (at least until my extortionate Uber bill landed) I headed out into the drizzly Parisian morning and on to my first showroom appointment of the day, Jerome Dreyfuss.
Jerome Dreyfuss et Moi
Much as I adore the spectacle and excitement of a fashion show (and I really bloody do) in many ways a showroom appointment is almost as rewarding an experience. This is especially true when the brand in question is one that leaves you weak at the knees and the designer behind it is there to walk you through the collection. Jerome Dreyfuss’ accessories are universally acknowledged as being some of the chicest, coolest and most covetable known to man so I couldn’t wait to meet him in person. Well, the experience did not disappoint. Jerome’s relaxed yet stylish HQ on Boulevard de la Bastille was filled with bags and shoes so goddamn gorgeous the idea of grabbing as many as I could carry and legging it crossed my mind more than thrice. In the end I settled for stroking their glossy pelts and giving the super soft rucksacks (a new addition for SS14) a good squeeze.
Dreyfuss designs come with a price tag to fit their luxeness but, as the charming fellow explained, he’s always aware that us young fashion obsessives don’t have mega bucks so each piece can be worn a number of different ways. Indeed, practicality is also inherent in the label’s ethos resulting in super lightweight bags with internal pockets to meet every need inspired apparently by Jerome’s desire to organise his wife (that’s Isabel Marant FYI) via her accessories. If forced to pick a favourite I’d be at a loss. Perhaps the sunshine yellow satchel… Or the multi leather, multi colour cross body… or one of the leopard print calfhair beauties he’s so renowned for. Actually, sod it, I’d choose them all. Probably time to start buying lottery tickets!
Once I finally managed to tear myself away from Jerome Dreyfuss’ showroom I steeled myself to get back on the metro (no more unnecessary taxis after uber-gate!) and head to Saint Germain for my second appointment at Karl Lagerfeld HQ. Unsurprisingly, the place was majestic. After walking through one of those hidden gardens they have in Paris and I wish we had back home I ascended a stone stairway to enter and was immediately confronted by a Karl stencil illuminated in white on black (obviously) and flanked by equally sleek monochrome handbags from the SS14 collection I was about to ogle. This is definitely stating the obvious but Karl Lagerfeld really is an extraordinary designer. When I was studying C20th at university last year it was fascinating to learn how early on in the century he became a hugely important, innovative figure within the industry yet is even more influential and crucially, modern, almost fifty years later. Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous SS14 collection was a testament to just how well understands both what contemporary fashion fans want to wear, how this varies within a global market and how to deliver on both of these fronts while still retaining that unmistakeable “Karl-ness”.
The worldwide sartorial obsession with leather continued at Karl by way of biker jackets and super skinny drainpipes black, white and silver leathers or in the form of panelling paired with cobalt blue calfskin on mini skirts and shift dresses. As one would expect, there were plenty of slick monochrome looks but they sat alongside eye popping neons for those less inclined towards minimalism. Geometric prints sat alongside pared back black dresses, artfully arranged up the winding staircase. Karl Lagerfeld’s accessories where particularly strong this season with the Bowletto bag reworked in a myriad of new colours and textures. Most of the bags also had a corresponding pair of shoes within Karls’ vast footwear collection, a fact I probably don’t need to tell you pleased me a lot!
By this point I was feeling a little weary and my feet were practically screaming so I treated myself to lunch-for-one at Cafe de Flore. A little indulgent and a lot clichéd I know but when in Paris it has to be done! Next on my agenda was an appointment at the Victoria Beckham showroom across the river in Le Marais. Seeing Mrs Beckham’s talk at this year’s Vogue Festival confirmed my suspicions that the she’s something of a superwoman. Yes, she may have stacks of (hard earned) cash which makes balancing a million and one things easier but how anyone has the head space, let alone time, to design and run a major fashion brand with multiple diffusion lines while raising four children, living a transatlantic lifestyle, patronising charities, sitting as a judge at Graduate Fashion Week and dealing with constant press scrutiny is beyond me. However she does it, the sartorial results are sublime.
Victoria’s SS14 mainline collection was as sleek, chic and immaculate as ever with many a precisely cut, bold hued separate on top of the pared back power dresses she’s so known for. The younger, more accessible (well, ish) Victoria, Victoria Beckham was particularly delectable this season with kaleidoscopic patterns, silk pleats and oh-so-covetable pastel party numbers besides variations of the drop waisted, bell shaped cloque frock the designer has been spotted rocking herself. It was a perfect fusion of the girlish glee exuded by the playful prints of VVB’s initial collections and the effortless polish we all went wild for last season. Yep, all more proof Victoria Beckham is not actually human. As for the handbags, don’t even get me started on the pastel hued, buttersoft leather beauties!
After a much needed cup of tea/breather/email blast through in a cute Parisian cafe (not Starbucks, impressed?) I was back on my now throbbing feet and off to the hub of Paris Fashion Week, Jardin de Tuileries, for my final show of the day Elie Saab. I suspected that this would be one to attract a combination of industry big hitters, celebs and the kind of (lucky) ladies who but, wear and adore his gowns and was proved right by the sight of British Vogue Fashion Director, Lucinda Chambers, Suzy Menkes and Hamish Bowles plus many a glamazon rocking Saab ensembles and footwear of the cab to curb only variety. Seating arrangements vary from being arranged by country, print and digital or apparently just at random (no doubt there is a method to the “random” ones, I just don’t know it) and on this occasion I was delighted to discover that the Saab team had sat all bloggers together. Our little area held Tala Samman of My Fash Diary, Sandra Hagelstam of 5 Inch and Up, Shini of Park and Cube and many more besides with Bryan Boy heading us up at the front. “Lovely” is a pretty lame way to describe anything but that is precisely what Elie Saab’s SS14 collection was. Well, lovely along with being a feat of flawless craftsmanship of the kind only a seasoned pro like Saab can deliver.
Elie Saab SS14
Opening with array of coral and ice white confections in delicate Chantilly lace and featherweight chiffon complete with intricate embroidery and appliqué blooms. Indeed it was nature that inspired Saab this season and his colour palette roamed from the camelia whites and elegantine roses to verdant green, bougainvillea pinks and inky blacks recalling a garden at midnight. The beautifully bedazzled, red carpet ready gowns and flirty, fit n flare cocktail frocks were contrasted by fluid, elegantly tailored separates and styled with simple gold hairbands adding to the underlying feeling of refined luxury; like I said, a lovely lovely show to behold and the perfect end to the day. Oh what I wouldn’t give to come back for his couture performance next Summer!
Love Ella. X