The great quandary of the reflexive fashion follower: am I a dupe or am I an active participant in the style zeitgeist? If I look back just three years, things that felt right then look so wrong now, and things I think I want now—give me minimalism—are offered in abundance. I’ve sold everything studded, tucked away my camel overcoat. In a few seasons, will I roll my eyes at digital prints? Will I succumb to ruffles this spring? (Everyone is offering.) Am I a fashion victim, fickle like the field, or is there something else going on? Some magic, some synchronicity, some symbiotic exchange between makers and wearers, that makes me feel like Phoebe Philo and Dries Van Noten are tapping into my subconscious?
Okay so now we firmly know that all the mass market magazines will be selling ruffles for spring. Balenciaga, J.W. Anderson, Céline, Givenchy, and Chloé all had their iterations. Who’s designing for Chloé these days? After Stella McCartney left, Phoebe Philo did well by the brand, then it was Hannah MacGibbon—oh no, wait, first we had Paulo Melim Andersson, then Hannah, and now… Clare Waight Keller. Chloé is an interesting brand for all the buck passing: traces of each designer past fold into the new. Dig the tracksuit.
I’m going to add eyelet and boxy shoulders and sheer modesty to my list of spring trends, all enacted here by good Stella. Another covetable one from the one who never fails.
Most critics seemed to like it. The old YSL entourage, like Betty Catroux, too. The most apt assessment I’ve heard, from a longtime Hedi devotee: it looks as if Hedi picked up where right where he left off. But that was eons ago in fashion time: Hedi Slimane left Dior Homme in 2007. Hedi Slimane’s debut Saint Laurent collection was, indeed, very mid-oughts. The devotee said, more accurately, Dior Homme Fall 2005: pussybows and skinny legs and wide brim hats over long hair; that fashion version of rock and roll sexy that’s too clean to really be rock and roll, like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wore when they were the favored fashionistas in skinny jeans last decade. Pierre Bergé, the label’s co-founder, was pleased. It was very Yves and very Hedi, said Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. Yes. Very Yves: Le Smoking and pantsuit dressing, safari jackets and caftans in the Morocco palette. Very Hedi: the lines, the LA cool vibe. Instead of blending two design heritages to create something new, like the best fashion house flag bearers like Nicolas Ghesquière do, Hedi has safely assembled one part Hedi to one part Yves; we’d like to see this mix vigorously stirred.
In a week plenty with old hats designing for even older houses, Pedro Lourenço gives us a recalibrating youthful charge. (Remember London? The children are our future.) Quilted, metallic, and vibrant materials were boxy on top, relaxed in trousers, and slitted in minis. A fraction the age of most of his Paris peers (Lourenço is 22), the Brazilian designer vies with the best and stands out.