In six months’ time, Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections from recent Fashion Weeks will be hitting the shops. So, who’s nailed it? Selecting key collections from Paris, because it historically has the widest spread of labels, I’ve assigned each one a WYW “would you wear it” rating, ranging from 10 (awesome, save up and go buy) to 0 (a bit rubbish, best avoid). So, here they are, in no particular order….
Kenzo (Carol Lim and Humberto Leon)
Muted but beautifully cut lines. This “Retro/Modern” collection comes in denim, camo prints and super clean silhouettes. Doesn’t come much more ready-to-wear as far as I’m concerned. WYW Rating: 10 (Because I will happily wear that camo coat RIGHT NOW).
Louis Vuitton (Nicolas Ghesquière)
Drapey dresses and odd tailoring teamed with uninspiring accessories. Nowhere near Ghesquière’s best and not for me. WYW Rating: 2 (Because I really don’t think you would want to).
Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld)
I was surprised by how much I liked this collection. A retrospective with a playful twist. Peppered with constant references to the iconic “Chanel Suit 1.0”, it was vibrant and a perfect symphony of old meets new. WYW Rating: 8 (Because not many of us could get away with a florescent baseball cap worn sideways!).
Alexander McQueen (Sarah Burton)
I love the look and feel of this collection. Tough yet feminine. Edgy but tactile. Gender-fluid perfection and faultless styling. WYW Rating: 5 (Because embroidered tartan and lace is probably not everyone’s cup of tea).
Stella McCartney (Stella McCartney)
With “No Leather” and “Thanks Girls” embossed on key pieces from the collection, the designer’s “considerate and conscious dressing” message was unmistakable and is indeed highly commendable. However, there was just a little too much statement and too little fashion for my liking. WYW Rating: 5 (Because not many of us can afford this indulgence).
Giambattista Valli (Giambattista Valli)
This is not a label that I’ve historically related to. But there’s some good stuff here. Romantic but not too twee. And the most uniquely styled posh bomber yet (the cocktail ensemble seen here). WYW Rating: 7 (Because that luxe bomber cocktail ensemble really shouldn’t work but it kinda really does).
Givenchy (Riccardo Tisci)
Spanx-coloured monstrosities awfully styled. Not that any amount of styling could salvage this. WYW Rating: 0 (You can choose to wear it obviously but would you really want to? I mean really?).
Valentino (Pierpaolo Piccioli)
Beautiful dresses, elegantly casual and modestly cut (high necklines abound) but sure to flatter most body shapes. Gorgeously simple accessories and unfussy styling as the dresses spoke loudly for themselves. WYW Rating: 10 (Now if only we could afford them!)
Céline (Phoebe Philo)
I have been a fan of Philo’s since her Chloé days but I was disappointed by this. Outrageously oversized blazers (to near American footballer proportions) and mis-matched shoes (yes, same shoes with a different colour on each foot) completely lost me. Not to mention sandals with tights. WYW Rating: 4 (Unless you are a Tokyo hipster, you will struggle to carry this off).
Acne Studios (Jonny Johansson)
There wasn’t much in this collection that said Acne to me (and this is one of my favourite labels!). But I may well eat my words in six months’ time when I find myself at Dover Street buying flowing layers of patchwork and scarves. WYW Rating: 6 (You probably would but perhaps just not the pieces from the runway).
Dior (Maria Grazia Chiuri)
Another collection with a big message (female empowerment). But unlike Stella McCartney, utterly wearable. T-shirts over sheer tulle skirts with trainers – confident, comfortable, cool. Covetable footwear and some fabulous LBD numbers. WYW Rating: 10 (Because it kicks ass).
Chloé (Clare Waight Keller)
Painfully understated. Beautifully cut and effortlessly stylish. WYW Rating: 10 (Just because).
And then there were others who didn’t make my list but who certainly stood out:
#1. The most fantastically bonkers – Maison Margiela (John Galliano)
Egg shell caps, spit-toe booties and sweater body suits. What more needs to be said?
#2. The Best tuxedo suit – Olivier Theyskens (Olivier Theyskens)
It’s a thing of beauty. Just look at it.
#3. The worst – Balenciaga (Demna Gvasalia)
Is there a name for leggings that turn into shoes? Sheggings? And they came in garish latex and spandex. There were also HUGE bags in the shape of round North African leather foot pouffes. Awful.
#4. The Summer sandals – Isabel Marant (Isabel Marant)
These beauties came in a variety of colours including metallics. I am in full lust mode.
#5. The most surreal – Jacquemus (Simon Porte)
Every look was accessorized by a boater. But they all looked good.
So that’s it. Overdrafts and credit cards at the ready?