The bi-annual fashion parade which jumped from New York, London and Milan has come to a spectacular end in the birthplace of haute couture: Paris. Whilst a number of fashion houses hosted catwalk shows that successfully complimented the collections being presented, some events were said to be so extravagant and star filled that the garments themselves became overshadowed.
Nevertheless, designers in Paris were not afraid to push the envelope this season with their designs, whilst returning to their label roots for inspiration. Karl Lagerfeld created a cafe inside the Grand Palais, dubbed Brasserie Gabrielle, a subtle nod to Chanel fondness of Cafe Society for his 60s infused collection; Sarah Burton returned to the Conciergerie in Paris, where Alexander McQueen hosted his first show in Paris thirteen years ago, to present her vision of beautiful decaying roses in homage to the late designer's fascination with death and Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski's debut collection for Hermes was skillfully crafted around the fashion houses ancestral link to horses. These links to the past created a dark and dreamy vibe for autumn-winter 2015-2016.
1. Dark FloralsAlthough flowers are usually associated with spring-summer collections, floral prints and patterns found their walk onto the autumn-winter catwalks in Paris. However unlike their more cheery and airy counterparts, these florals presented a darker, heavier vibe and were often paired with black. Sarah Burton presented roses in the midst of decay on gothic inspired dresses, whilst Dame Vivienne Westwood printed oversized pink roses on sheer black gowns and Giambattista Valli layered florals on florals, with a hint of a 70s vibe mixed in.
Alexander McQueen - Giambattista Valli
2. Long SleevesWhilst accessories such as gloves adorned many models arms on the runways in Paris, another dominant trend was the extended, or long sleeve. At Nina Ricci and Sonia Rykiel, sleeves were both long and oversized, adding to the boxy effect of a military jacket or cropped jacket, and at Chloé, shirt sleeves covered models hands, not only dragging the viewers eye down but also visibly adding length to an outfit and sheer sleeves added a hint of sexiness. Stella McCartney presented one-long sleeved sweater dress, but choose to leave the opposite arm bare.
Chloe - Nina Ricci - Stella McCartney
3. CapesOversized jackets have become the staple of many autumn-winter collections and ponchos were the next big-thing last winter, thanks to Burberry Prorsum, but this season saw designers in Paris bringing the cape back into the spotlight. Capes were short but elegant at Vionnet, coming in a variety of textures and colors and even adorned with a hood. Lemaire presented functional woollen capes and Alber Elbaz, head of design at Lanvin, closed the show with a more traditional styled cape, paired with leather elbow length gloves thrown over a textured shift dress.
Vionnet - Chloe - Lanvin
4. Wide Trousers and Cinched-in WaistsThe wide trouser leg trend made its way effortlessly overseas from New York to Paris, although the ballooning pant legs were held in place by belts, both thick and thin, which placed emphasis on the narrowness of the waist and the perkiness of the models rear-ends. The covered legs were sometimes paired with a little bit of cleavage and crafted from a variety of fabrics and colors, with Balmain presenting pleated wide trousers as well as lace-transparent catsuits with wide legs.
Balmain - Loewe
5. All in BlackArguably the most notable trend of them all was created around the seasons top selling color - black, with the non-color making it way into nearly every collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Some designers, such as Hussein Chalayan and Rick Owens, presented black on black ensembles that elegantly draped and covered the female form, whilst other labels such as Valentino and Maison Margiela used sheer black fabrics to crafted creations that left little to the imagination.
Chalayan - Valentino - Givenchy