Friday, 28 February 2014

PFW #3: Carven, Balmain, Nina Ricci | Autumn/Winter 2014-15: Ready-To-Wear

Beginning and ending with outwear à la Keira Knightley in Atonement, Carven used large collars, long hemlines and fabric belts to capture a new silhouette of the winter woman. Rather than the thigh-skimming oversized coats we have seen in most of the season's collections, Carven have chosen to channel and modernize 1930s fashion, and they have done it well. Though the middle section of the collection presents a more contemporary vibe - outlandish patterns and baggy thigh-high boots - the overall feel of the collection is one of regality and Britishness, and is very true to Carven's traditional style.

I hope none of you have thrown out your peplums too hastily, because according to Olivier Rousteing, they are very much back for A/W. In traditional Balmain form, Rousteing presented us with hard, dominatrix-esque fabrics and outwardly sexualised silhouettes. There is no chance to hide your body in a baggy jumper or dress here, each look is attentive to the female shape, with particular emphasis on the waist. Uninhibited animal prints, chains and of course lots of leather, the Balmain show did a wonderful job of retaining the undeniably identifiable look of the brand, whilst renewing these conventions with colour and print. And that model line up too? Hats off to Olivier Rousteing.

A much more pretty and wearable show compared to some of the others shown so far in Paris, Nina Ricci has excelled in creating a variety of looks, yet all with the same elegant feeling. Largely focusing on all shades purple, from Pantone's radiant orchid to deeper burgandies and soft, dusty mauves, the collection feels timeless and refined, without a moment of excess to be seen. Even the more detailed looks at the end of the collection carry an air of simplicity and class, never once becoming superfluous in their adornment. Minimalist without being dull, the collection is certainly one to imitate, particularly on the most graceful of occasions.

(All photographs have been taken from and belong

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