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Paris Fashion Week Rounds Up Spring 2016

Chanel Spring/Summer ’16

Lagerfeld embraced athleisure, elevating and toying with it. The girls sported printed water shoes, backwards baseball hats, moto gloves or goggle-like sunglasses. Silvery anoraks covered smart, simply chic white tunics and trousers. At the other end, bombers were envisioned in sheer materials and decorated with jewels.

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Chanel Spring/Summer ’16

Denim—the go-to of travelers—showed up in terrific combinations and variations: youthful washed and tiered dresses; longer dresses with a vague bohemian vibe, and then basic jeans printed with camellias and worn with a fitted blue sweater. Great.

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Chanel Spring/Summer ’16

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Tom Ford Spring/Summer ’16

Ford showed two ideas. The first was super short minidresses, done as skimpy LBDs and their white counterparts or a polkadotted leather look worn by Gaga. The second was dressy pants that can be worn for day with t-shirts and jackets in patchworks of silk or exotics, or donned for evening dance parties in sexy suit combinations, flowing trousers with baring tops or as jumpsuits.

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Tom Ford Spring/Summer ’16

The glamour quotient was high, as was expected, with colorful beaded minis, tunics and gowns (the latter with curvy cut-outs). The dance set-up turned out to be the perfect way to showcase these looks in their natural habitats. Ford, ever the canny ad man, just killed about 50 birds with one glossy, glamorous, razzle-dazzle stone. In 3 1/2 minutes, he locked in his runway, marketing campaign, FW buzz, viral social media moment and he gave travel-weary editors a little break. So where is the man himself? Filming his next movie, Nocturnal Animals, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Armie Hammer. It sounds like more serious fare than this frolic, but it’s good to know the man still knows how to boogie with the best of them. All images from Tom Ford.

VIONNET SPRING/SUMMER ’16

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Vionnet Spring/Summer ’16

Just days before the show it was announced that Hussein Chalayan would be joining the Vionnet team (after designing the demi-couture line that is only shown privately), and just having his steady presence at the end of the show for the bow, introduced a different energy. And what proceeded was pretty good, from the signature plisse gowns to the sporty shoes they were worn with, proving that Goga Ashkenazi, who owns the brand, knows exactly what she’s doing. The construction of the gowns was impressive, as were the colors (black, bronze, to a mix of neutrals).

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Vionnet Spring/Summer ’16

There were cut-outs at the waist and ribs, and some were one-shouldered—all variations on artful togas that were body-con and flattering. Smartly, the group branched out—ready-to-wear is not just about gowns, after all— into nicely tailored cropped pants and a handful of jackets and blazers with architectural details that have Chalayan’s fingerprints all over them. The sportiness was also a good idea, as were the gladiator sandals. Ashkenazi is clearly trying to prove that this is more than a vanity project, and she should keep pushing it forward. With Chalayan on board, things certainly got more interesting.

THE ROW SPRING/SUMMER ’16

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The Row Spring/Summer ’16

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen injected a little Garbo-like drama into their latest offering at The Row. First there was their last minute announcement that they would show in Paris this year and then there was the photography ban at their presentation at the Chateau de Courances just outside the city. There was a new sexiness and embellishment, as well as a sunglass partnership with Oliver Peoples, to their lineup of luxuriously monastic fare. The covered-up vibe the twins love—the all-black, body-hiding swathes of rich materials—were there, showing up in stark contrast to the opulent 17th Century setting. Wide-brim hats and flat shoes (the collection launched this season) added to the cloister-like feel of the prevention. (Not that we’re suggesting this was a religious experience.)

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The Row Spring/Summer ’16

But the Olsens started to loosen up their grip on covered-up chic. More than a hint of skin was shown and fine tailoring, too. Loose knits slid off shoulders sexily while pant suits in camel and black looked good enough to wear to work now. And there was some embellishment happening, too. A beaded coat that doubled as a minidress felt downright giddy when played against the spareness of their m.o. or the rustic muslin and gauze blanket-like coats to come. Elsewhere frothy sheer dresses covered up but didn’t hide little bras and high-waisted bottom below. It was alluring.A spaghetti strap minidress walked out next to a strapless top worn with blouson sleeves and cropped tailored pants. It felt like the Olsens were being frisky with fashion, feeling youthful and in love.

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA SPRING/SUMMER ’16

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Maison Martin Margiela Spring/Summer ’16

John Galliano is taking Martin Margiela’s ethos very much to heart. But Galliano’s personality was very much in the spirit of the retro-spacy-racy-luxury-laden collection he presented for Spring. His ladies were ladies, even the ones who were androgynous men with their hair teased into beehives. If coats being clutched closed or the wonderful roomy zippered totes in winter white weren’t a tell, the shapes of the clothes were: cropped jackets, slim sheaths and wrapped pencil skirts. And, there were leather cut-out dresses layered under gauze that picked up on the silver starburst eye makeup and fishnet stockings worn over shoes (and also on arms, for that matter).

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Maison Martin Margiela Spring/Summer ’16

He smartly reworked traditional ideas, like the tennis sweater stripes done in metal grommets or embellishments on skirts and coats that looked like crystal eyelashes. But pieces like a bright green suit—cut perfectly—are a reminder of Galliano’s technical ability. And when he marries his wild imagination with the practical needs of wardrobing, it’s a pretty fun ride. And his coats in general will be an easy entry point for women who are getting used to Galliano in the lead at this beloved insider’s outsider-brand. You could see Galliano in the drama of the geisha-inspired makeup and styling or in the way every-day separates were elevated into the realm of the operatic.