Paris Fashion Week reviews

Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the Kanye West Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2012 show.

Kanye West
1. To call Kanye West’s Paris Fashion Week debut last October a disaster is not exactly an understatement. The day after his top-secret collection premiered, critics politely complimented his music before skewering his clothes. But you have to give the die-hard fashion lover credit for perseverance. Because he came back with a (slightly) tighter show — and an even starrier audience, including Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian, P. Diddy, Swizz Beatz, Anna Wintour, Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci and a long list of others. As for the improvements: Unlike his debut collection, this show had a clearer vision. The clothes weren’ all over the place, and they fit the models properly. Adopting the season’s color of the moment, black, he churned out monochromatic leather and suede looks that were a little bit fetish and a little bit Parisian party girl before mixing in a few daytime options in ivory and nude toward the end of the show. The problem is that the work still looked derivative. It was easy to pick out the influences (Givenchy, Azzedine Alaia, Gucci, the list goes on), but hard to pull out West’s actual point of view. That’s not a good thing when you consider his prices; a pair of Kanye West shoes are currently on sale at the Parisian boutique Colette for nearly $6,000 — yup, almost $6,000. Women who are prepared to spend that kind of money would probably rather do it on Givenchy instead.


Alexander McQueen

2. Sarah Burton once again created something marvelous with a collection of ethereal, futuristic android clones — clones because the platinum blonde hair, metal belts cinched tight at the waist and visors remained consistent throughout the show. That said, it was a collection that progressed in stages (as did the color palette of white, black, blush tones, cherry and red). Burton kicked off with jacquard-detail skirts, booties and knee-high socks, followed by leather dresses with pom poms — outlandish, but the wildest moments were yet to come. Her models morphed further into otherworldly creatures, with shaggy styles in fur, extravagant ostrich feathers and tiered organza pieces – all gently bobbing to the beat of the models’ walk. Burton’s latest offering was her most confidently daring show to date, all the while maintaining the house’s unmistakable artistry.


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