Roland Mouret is not a label that will propose an exciting new movement in fashion. But not every designer needs to chart of path of distinctiveness, sometimes it's about knowing what works, who the customer is and what flatters a women's body. And that applies to Mouret. Best known for his dresses, this season's presentation may not have the complexity of Rick Owens or fluidity of Dries van Noten, but they deserve their own recognition. The show opened with a coat and skirt in a double sided print, but it wasn't until the 6th look when evidence of Mouret's expert cutting came to life in a lilac front fold skirt and panelled 3/4 sleeve top. The majority of dresses were sleeveless or had fitted, strappy bodices that exposed sheer, textured knits underneath, confirming the sporty and wearability of the collection.
Balmain looked to the eighties for its autumn winter collection, all power shoulders and nipped in waists. The art of power dressing is not novel to the house, but this season it came injected with clashing bright hues of orange, purple and magenta. Lace catsuits with flared legs and Mondrian-esque cage pieces provided the signature sex appeal, while models wore oversized earrings, throwing it back to the era where bigger was always better. The 80s was also the start of the supermodel era, so Balmain's casting was fittingly high profile with Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Jessica Stam, Karlie Kloss, Lily Donaldson, Anna Ewers and Gigi Hadid all on the runway.
Rick Owens' titled his womens collection Sphinx, the same name he gave to his mens's presentation in Paris back in January. Featuring draped robes, sculpted wool felt silhouettes and exquisite clarity of line and shape. Finding inspiration in architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s recently restored Hollyhock House we saw angular lines, tone-on-tone twists of fabric and flora motifs. Only the reflection of gold and silver square sequins took from this controlled and understand presentation. Elsewhere patched embroidery, monochrome furs, windbreakers, gave way to the final looks, which returned to the Sphinx. Owens himself stated after the show: "I’ve been so linear for so long, so I thought let’s just fall apart and collapse. And as long as I was doing that I thought let’s indulge in sequins; I’ve always wanted to do sequins. I just knew it would take some time to figure out how to fit it in to my universe and so I had a minute this time and I’m glad I did – I just love them.”
Christian Wijnants has been going from strength to strength since launched his label in 2003. This season Wijnants was inspired by the work of Irish photographer Jackie Nickerson’s Farm series and opened the show with abstract banana leaf motif monochromes printed, bonded and flocked onto fabrics. Print and texture were central to his collection of mohair kit shorts, tank tops, crisp graphic silhouettes that explored fabric techniques, then led to feather like appliques, blanket wraps and distorted plaids to ginghams.This collection hit its stride when he was experimenting with patchwork, stitch and a topography of textures that made it innovative yet intuitively commercial, a plus for his clients and all his stockists.
Bohemian luxury was the vibe at Lanvin's AW15 presentation. The show opened with a series of utilitarian looks with panel detailing on a trouser, dress and skirt, worn with tasselled boots. But then clothes gave way to more deconstruction, more fluidity and more seventies. Fringing on a red coat, frayed edges on a fur trimmed dresses and coats, this was all about the way a hem was finished. And then came the layering, shaggy furs, and a tribal Sahara vibe. Creative director Alber Albaz found intarsia furs in the Lanvin archives, made up of 4,000 pieces that took 250 hours to put together. The labor of which he called "the essence of luxury." The show closed with densely embroidered flower pieces, which perhaps reminded of Casablanca, Albaz' birthplace.