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PFW: Weekend reviews – Metro US

PFW: Weekend reviews

Timeless investment pieces and recession-fighting dresses were on show during the opening weekend of Paris Fashion Week.

Anne Valerié Hash
Often, there’s a huge gap between the clothes you see on the runway and what women buy in real-life. Hash closes that gap with wearable pieces such as sleek pantsuits, jumpsuits, and dresses, many of which can go from the office to the nighttime after-work events. Design details such as a deep V on the back of a dress and undulating ruffles sprouting out of the side seams of another frock kept the looks chic, not boring. —Kenya Hunt

Balenciaga
Nicolas Ghesquière played with proportion and light through shiny, draped skirts and trousers paired with matte metallic sweaters or glossy, belted jackets. It was romantic, and yet had a hard edge to it. Other highlights included diaphanous knee-length dresses featuring cool digitally altered prints. —Kenya Hunt

Azzaro
“I wanted something timeless and yet of the moment. We’re in an age of cutbacks so I wanted to create something that would take your breath away. I wanted to create an experience that you cannot cut back on,” creative director Vanessa Seward said of her pretty fall collection. She scores points for follow through. Her black, gray, red and maroon dresses were indeed seasonless. Elements such as a string of sparkly buttons running down the back of a dress from a deep plunging v to the hemline, added a hint of subverted sex factor. —Kenya Hunt

Rochas
The prettiest moments of this solid collection were the transparent ones: A delicate long-sleeve dress with a raw edged hem, the v-neck top to a gold sequined dress or the barely there panel at the hem of a shiny black and blue, cinched waist frock, for example. It’s like the fashion equivalent of the phrase, “lighten up.” —Kenya Hunt

Vivienne Westwood
Westwood’s ad campaign poster girl, Pamela Anderson, walked the runway in a show that featured lots of layering and plays on volume such as massive cloaks and capes. While some of the layered looks appeared too heavy, a few ensembles such as a gold metallic knit sweater worn under a gold sequined v-neck dress struck the right balance. —Kenya Hunt

Yohji Yamamoto
“Sometimes we need colour. Colour has to be beautiful when it’s used. It has so many sensitivities and meaning. It’s very difficult to use colour,” said Yohji Yamamoto in an interview I did with him several weeks ago after his Y-3 show during New York Fashion Week. I couldn’t help but think about that quote on Friday night as it seemed to apply much more to the fall show for his signature collection, which used red in really optimistic ways. He showed a string of precisely constructed coats (a major item to invest in for fall) and strategically inserted the colour in dip dyed patches on the shoulder, tails and gathered folds of the outerwear. The grande finale, five models walking hand-in-hand wearing crimson coats with pink panels on the back, ended it all on a hopeful note. —Kenya Hunt

Lanvin
There’s a drawing of a dressed-to-the-nines woman on a graffiti-covered wall on the Parisian street rue du Turenne with the words “Fight the recession. Please dress up.” That bit of street art pretty much sums up a lot of what we’ve seen on the runways, in New York, London, Milan and Paris, so far. If one had the budget to fight the recession with one seriously major purchase at a time, though, she might want to start with Alber Elbaz’s very cool collection, which was a mix of Parisian chic and career girl power dressing (think office-appropriate shift dresses with feminine folds and gathers on the front or a seriously smart leg-flashing coat dress cinched at the waist with a leather belt.) —Kenya Hunt

A.F. Vandevorst
This collection was a complete departure from last season’s draped and gathered dresses in white, black, and seafoam. Urban militaristic button shirts, jodphurs and oversized duffle bags in olive green, navy and gray captured the severity of turbulent times. —Kenya Hunt

Karl Lagerfeld
With Peaches Geldof and The Gossip’s Beth Ditto sitting front row, Karl Lagerfeld’s show for his Tommy Hilfiger owned younger line was all luxury with a punk rock edge. How cool would the city streets looked if all girls wore his oversized fur helmets? His silhouettes, meanwhile, were all about the letter V with broad-shouldered jackets with flaps and skinny skirts and trousers. —Kenya Hunt

Celeb stuff

He’s baaaaack
Kanye West just can’t stay away from a fashion week. After sitting out Milan, the rapper is making the runway rounds again, with new girlfriend Amber Rose in tow. Yesterday, he showed up front row at Jeremy Scott. Meanwhile, his constant crew of colourfully dressed hangers-on were spotted shopping around the Champs-Elysees area.

Seen on the scene
Bianca and Jade Jagger shopping on rue Saint-Honore.

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