Just like that, SS16 Fashion Month is over, coming to a stunning, exaggerated and very publicized end in Paris. This year they definitely saved the best for last, with a schedule filled with designers and brands people would kill to catch a glimpse of — we present to you Paris Fashion Week.

Miu Miu

Miu Miu is Miuccia Prada’s creative opportunity to stray away from the classic Prada silhouette and have some fun. Fun, by way of Prada, typically revolves around many textures, wild prints and chunky accessories. So, when the first few oversized printed overcoats came down the runway, no one was surprised. The designer is known to do the opposite of her fellow designers; her decision to use dark colors and heavy fabrics was a direct challenge to the idea of spring/summer.  However, as the innovative looks continued to appear, the excellence and novelty that is synonymous with Miu Miu were nowhere to be found. A combination of three to four prints — argyle, gingham, plaid, geometric, floral — were the focus of every look. Random, colorful tufts of fur dangled from shoulders and waistlines and random sheer negligees popped up over the crazy prints.

The overdone combination of texture and print did not work as well as past collections. Even the craftsmanship and interesting shapes that are typical of Miu Miu were missing from this lackluster show. If Prada’s purpose was to bring some darkness to Paris, she succeeded. The only bright spot in a sea of bulky jackets and boring separates were the shoes. Some of the lace-up boots were a bust — a whole lot of laces and Addams Family patterns — but the ballet flats and pumps were powerful, yet elegant. The colorful patent pumps were paired with different patterned ribbons to emulate a masculine ballet slipper. The feminine slippers were wrapped in chains and heavy metals to create a wonderful punk look. The duality of the shoes was the strongest part of the show, and highlighted everything the fashion world loves about Miu Miu. More shoes, less prints. —Mara Maclean

Balmain

Balmain’s Creative Director Olivier Rousteing fully immersed his collection into the notable trends of the season.  With endless camel tones, suede dresses and shirts, it was an ode to the ’70s. With a following that not many other designers can relate to, I expected a lot from this collection, but somehow I was left wanting something more, something less bland.

It’s no secret that Rousteing considers Kim Kardashian one of his muses, and it reflected in the array of tight fitted garments we saw strutting down the runway. Trying to bring back the chunky belt in any way he could, Rousteing complemented tight fitted bodices, cinched at the waist with these belts, with mid-length and long ruffled skirts to add both dimension and depth.

Sticking with the quasi ’70s theme through and through, we saw a mix of body suits and jumpsuits, a mod revival of sorts. All of which featured a lot of edgy cut outs, green suede (not a fan) and net.

The collection as a whole lacked a cohesive element. Yes — we can argue an overall theme, an ode to a decade past, however among the outdated randomness, there were only some modern-day wearable looks.  By those I am referring to some of the matching sets that we saw toward the end of the show.  Black, structured, tailored to perfection and just the right amount of net to bring it into this century, we wish we could’ve seen more of this wearable art as opposed to the untouchable antiques we were given.

While I still remain excited for his upcoming partnership with H&M next month, I can’t help but think that maybe Rousteing should find a new muse. —Mariam Sheikh

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label

The Vivienne Westwood Gold Label SS16 show at Paris Fashion Week fell nothing short of bizarre, much like her Red Label show from London.  The collection was dubbed “‘Mirror the World’” — influenced by the “Saving Venice from Climate Change” movement. Designer Vivienne Westwood is largely known for her offbeat designs and modern punk rock clothing.

The show opened with a scantily dressed model in a slashed bikini top, black and white boots, purple-mirrored aviators and a heavily pinned baseball hat worn backwards.

The entire collection that followed was pure Westwood eccentricity. Models wore hangers on their heads to give the appearance of floating overcoats. Faces were painted red, which looked like blood. Many models wore disheveled wigs that were haphazardly placed on their heads. Puffed shoulders straight out of the Elizabethan era made an appearance. Several of the looks had pieces of mixing prints — something that only Vivienne Westwood could make look effortlessly punk. 

Although the pieces were wacky in nature, one cannot deny that Westwood’s tailoring is impeccable, especially with the suit coats. The collection was filled of blazers with large shoulders yet sported keen tailoring. Dresses were expertly draped, coifed and stitched, giving an avant-garde vibe.

A recurring theme was metallic-printed fabrics with busy prints. This fabric was showcased on men and women in the form of coats, platform shoes, dresses and pants. The show closed with a model wearing a blue ruffled crop top, green silk bottoms with real flowers as accents and a large headpiece that resembled that of a bee catching hat and veil. The last look summed up the entire show perfectly: quirky and eccentric. — Carly Colonnese

Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton had a clear vision for this collection. Loose, soft, light and real, audiences at the Alexander McQueen show were transported to the Victorian English country side where they were greeted with fresh faced models, donned with tousled hair and rosy cheeks.

Dresses and gowns in different shades of cream donned with intricate embroidery, the designs had an understated but regal feel to them. Going a bit outside of the box, Burton used various harsh cuts, layering and many soft ruffles which all managed to work cohesively and crate a balanced look that was still soft, neat and enchanting.

There seemed to be a look for every occasion one could possibly find themselves at — a garden party, afternoon tea, a wedding or even something far edgier. Audiences saw the dainty looks at the start and then were faced with the more powerful ones down the line. Loose white trousers juxtaposed with fitted white jackets — the tailoring of this collection is something to be admired. Looks had both net and lace, as well as crocheted cut-outs.

Perhaps my favorite portion of the collection was the emergence of high collars, structured tutu-esque skirts, all accompanied by corset-like tops with, of course, ruffles. Oh ruffles, something we have all worn and the world has grown to detest. Never fear, Burton manages to put an elegant and modern twist on the long-lost art of ruffling, and if this show is any indication, they are here to stay.

This collection did a lot in just a short amount of time, however every piece was a reflection of Burton’s elegance, softness and flare. —Mariam Sheikh

Chloe & Louis Vuitton

This Fashion Week Chloe brought a fresh look to the Paris runway. Chloe has always been one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite designer, and these looks lived up to the expectation. Each model walked down the runway wearing looks that were more and more eloquently pulled together — the perfect combination of chic and casual.

The most notable pieces came in the form of the sporty, but high fashion, tracksuits. They started the show off strong with something different from anything Chloe has ever done as a label. The transition between those sporty looks to the more traditionally feminine long dresses and skirts was perfectly done. Jada Pinkett Smith and Fan Bingbing sat front row making the whole show feel spectacular.  Each look was tied together with that magical Chloe touch.

In other news, Louis Vuitton stunned Paris Fashion Week with an incredible show this past week.  It opened with a monologue played in pitch black, with all of the models lipping the words. It immediately drew the audience in, confirming that this wasn’t going to be like any other show.

The clothes all had a very modern feel to them. With high necklines, bold color blocking and stiff lines, the pieces tied in perfectly with the ambience of the affair, that vibe being supplemented with techno music and the black lighting all around.

One thing that stood out was the usage of suede in shoes. This wasn’t expected, given the rest of the modern clothes, but it worked nicely. Whether it was on a boot or a heel, suede allowed each look to feel much more bohemian.   

Overall, Louis Vuitton gave fashion week an energetic, fresh, and chic vibe. The clothes were beautiful, adding a great touch to classic Louis Vuitton. — Julia Doyle  

Chanel

Fronted by a few quasi-flight attendants, it all seemed gimmicky until the fifth look of head-to-toe multicolored tweed. Immaculate as ever, the brand’s standard, tweed-filled collection showcased its cult favorites — delicate embroideries, mod silhouettes, the iconic quilted bags and enough C’s to resurface the horrifying memories of my high school math career. Harnessing the glorified sass and spontaneity of the namesake Coco Chanel herself, the collection was permeated by playful power suits, voluminous frocks and irreverent additions of baseball caps and chain link jewelry, Fancy footwork abound, models rocked block heeled, translucent oxford pumps and even repackaged Teva-style sandals of the classier and lit up varieties. Yes, light up shoes from one of the most storied houses at Paris Fashion Week. And if anyone’s going to convince us its okay to sport light up kicks past the age of four, it’s Chanel.

Frequent flyers with the label outlined the runway, with front row frontrunners Cara Delevigne, Lily-Rose Depp, Vanessa Paradis and of course, the Kardashian matriarch was front-and-center, supporting the ethereal Kendall. But the focus was on Lagerfeld, who later remarked “It’s how (an airport) should look”. But, why limit it to just an airport? Jet-setting or nah, the world would be a much more beautiful place if we all wore all Chanel all the time. — Caroline Filips

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