PFW SS15: Day 6

Ella Catliff PFW SS15

I wore Valentino AW14 head to toe
Image by Holly McGlynn

So at long, long, long last we’ve come to the end of Fashion Month SS15. Thanks for sticking with me all the way! It was an exhausting, exhilarating, emotional rollercoaster but I enjoyed (almost) every second of it and, at the risk of sounding like a gushing fool, I just feel incredibly lucky to have had the experience. PFW SS15 day 6 was one I’d been looking forward to so much that the mere thought of it practically made me hyperventilate. That sounds melodramatic I know but with Chanel, Valentino and McQueen on the schedule can you blame me? After slipping into my all red Valentino ensemble, an outfit it pained me greatly to return to it’s rightful owners, I tottered down Montmarte hill and boarded the metro bound for the Grand Palais. Karl Lagerfeld’s spectacular shows are the stuff of fashion legend and I couldn’t believe that I would be attending Chanel for the very first time…

I arrived at the Grand Palais to be greeted by thousands of people, all vying for snaps of the inevitable A list attendees. Once I’d finally managed to navigate my way through the fray I got inside to find the vast, dome roofed space had been transformed into “Boulevard Chanel” complete with zebra crossings, street lamps and classic Parisian buildings with glass paned widows and flower laden balconies. So far, so spectacular. There was much jostling, selfie taking and I can imagine that for the next 20 minutes or so, Instagram literally became Karl-stagram. Not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned but perhaps a little frustrating if art directed breakfast trays are more your bag. Eventually everyone was ushered to their seats and the photographers reluctantly evicted and at last, the show could begin.

Chanel PFW SS15 1

Chanel SS15

Chanel campaign stars Binx Walton and Cara Delevingne opened in lilac tweed with psychedelic prints peeping from beneath. They were swiftly followed by a marching troop of models rocking variations along the multi coloured, tweed tie died mash up theme. The brand’s most iconic fabric married with highlighter bright sweeps of watercolour and matching boots for an anarchistic take on classic Chanel elegance. From there the show moved into suedes, floral appliqué, monochrome tailoring, Breton stripes, glittering pinafores, chain mail sequins and lace trims galore. I challenge anyone to try and detect a “theme” for the collection, it was simply a seemingly endless outpouring of Karl Lagerfeld’s imagination and design mastery, underpinned by Maison Chanel’s inimitable aesthetic and artistry. In other words, amazing clothes modelled by the likes of Caroline de Maigret, Gisele et al. As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, the finale was staged as a feminist protest led by Cara hollering on a megaphone. There have been mixed opinions about this pièce de résistance but personally, I thought it was genius.

Chanel PFW SS15 2

Chanel SS15

After a much needed lunch break and, I’ll be honest, a fairly half arsed attempt to tackle my ever growing inbox I was off to the Tuileries for Valentino. I definitely, definitely don’t need to tell you how I feel about Valentino; I wrote my damn thesis on the label! In my opinion no one combines artistry, craftsmanship and integrity with business and branding like them. However commercially successful Valentino may be – and with their global growth exploding by the second you can bet that’s seriously successful – it never detracts from the unbridled creativity of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccolo’s collection. They have proved the perfect successors for the inimitable Mr Garavani and I fall more in love with their work each season. Attending the show clad head to toe in their designs I felt slightly like I’d walked into a dream and hoped I wouldn’t wake up anytime soon!

Valentino PFW SS15 1

Valentino SS15

I thoroughly enjoyed people watching from my seat (everyone was wearing Valentino!) but it wasn’t long the show began, and what a show it was! I could have watched it a hundred times. Inspired by travels in Italy, Chiuri and Piccoli paid homage to the heritage of the brand and rich history of the country in a way that felt fresh, modern and free from the cloying constraints of nostalgia. Valentino’s SS15 journey led the collection through rural interiors to the coast by way of Naples and Rome. While the brand may be world renowned for their gowns, Valentino women do venture out during daylight hours and there was a wonderful array of separates and more casual pieces on the catwalk, totally wearable by no less exquisitely concocted than dresses in softly tailored linen and delicate broderie. There was so much detail here it was quite literally a visual feast, but in a way that never felt overpowering. Ornate fresco esque motifs were printed on fluid silks and embroidered on one particularly stunning rich hued, tiered skirted concoction, all with matching leather accessories. From there we journeyed on to the most incredible ensembles embroidered in feathers and jewels, a heady level of opulence counter balanced by pristine cotton sundresses. Laser cut suede dresses, lightweight knits and frothy, chiffon ruffles in pastel ice cream shades had me almost salivating.

Valentino PFW SS15 2

Valentino SS15

All too soon we reached the end of Chiuri and Piccoli’s Italian journey with an array of shimmering fantasy gowns adorned with aquatic embellishment and hypnotising us with the level of skill and dedication in the Valentino atelier. As the models took their final walk my fellow guests and I almost brought the house down with our thunderous applause. It’s no mean feat to get fashion folk to put down their iPhones but it should come as no surprise that the dream team behind “the power brand of now” (yep, that’s a quote I used in my thesis) managed it.

Valentino PFW SS15 3

Valentino SS15

My final day of PFW SS15 could not have been more wonderful if Ryan Gosling had suddenly pitched up and whisked me off for cocktails at Le Bristol. I’m sure you’re thinking “yeah, right” but seriously, even the handsomest of cereal hating heartthrobs couldn’t have topped those shows. Last up was Alexander McQueen and words cannot describe how excited I was to be going. I know I’ve gushed non stop in this post but seriously, can you blame me? The McQueen show was held in an incredible former stables near Bastille which had been decked out in black lacquered wood flooring with incredible luminescent sculptures in the middle of the catwalk. I found myself next to my old Gucci trip pal, Misha Janette so we had a good catch up in between editor spotting until the lights dipped and change in soundtrack signalled that the show was about to begin. The debate over whether fashion can be considered art, given that people buy and wear it etc etc, is one that has raged for centuries but when you consider a brand like McQueen I do feel that the answer’s a no brainer.

McQueen PFW SS15

Alexander McQueen SS15

For SS15 Sarah Burton revisited the Japanese inspiration that permeated her Cruise and Men’s collections. But this was, of course, unlike any of the other oriental inspired fare we saw on the catwalks. Marrying the aesthetic of the geisha and the samurai, Burton offered up a powerful incarnation of womanhood who’s strength is matched only by her otherworldly beauty. Black and pink colour combinations, intricate floral motifs and Kimono esque silks were juxtaposed with harsh mask makeup, rigidly sculpted silhouettes and tightly laced harnesses creating a striking masculine-feminine contrast. Between that and the exaggerated shoulders, elongated fluted sleeves and mind blowingly intricate detailing, McQueen’s SS15 muse looks to be all at once a futuristic caped crusader, medieval creature existing outside the constraints of time, Geisha girl and Samurai warrior all at once. It was an utterly fascinating show to see. While there was a definite darkness to the collection, there was also the most incredible care and intricacy. Bondage bodices came paired with skirts constructed from dove white and blush hued feathers, cascading appliqué and dresses that appeared to be solely made up of delicate beading. I don’t believe that anyone who watched the McQueen SS15 show could fail to appreciate the true artistry of fashion.

McQueen PFW SS15 2

Alexander McQueen SS15

And so my friends, that’s fashion month over and out! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my diaries as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

Love Ella. X

5 Thoughts on PFW SS15: Day 6

  1. […] store budgetter og en flair for den dramatiske. Hvem ellers kunne jeg nævne, men Burberry , Chanel og Valentino ? Det kan vel nok ikke lade sig gøre på samme måde som de andre, men Maria Grazia […]

  2. […] design skill, big budgets and a flair for the dramatic. Who else could I name but Burberry, Chanel and Valentino? Arguably the latter doesn’t put on a performance in the same way as the others […]

  3. The Valentino dresses are breath taking. x

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Amazing details in this collection! I love every piece and I love that red dress!

  5. Diana says:

    Valentino is such an iconic brand, it was such an honor to hear Velentino Garavani at Vogue Festival in March.
    Love the colour of that dress, my latest blog post features a similar dress but it’s by Dolce & Gabbana, hope you can check it out! x

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