The Best Looks from Paris Fashion Week: Spring 2013


Chloé Spring 2013

Happy 60th birthday, Chloé. You don't look a day over 24. Youth and spirit have always been the driving force behind the label through its many designers, from founder Gaby Aghion (who was on hand to celebrate this past week in Paris), Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo. Current design head Clare Waight Keller is doing her part with fun but beautifully-made looks.

Like her Parisian colleagues, she toyed with proportion, sheerness and a certain kind of minimalism. Chloé has always been a feminine kind of gal, a sucker for frills, lace and other femme frippery. Here, Keller pulled back to some extent, keeping shapes belled and voluminous and using ruffles and bows more as a design element than an embellishment.

She turned what she called lace into a cage-like pattern, using it as a sheer layer over a simple dress or roomy shorts. Sportiness was a factor, too, with track suits, tanks and shorts playing a major role in luxe fabrics and detailed with sequins instead of racing stripes.

But there's only so much restraint a girly-girl can take. For evening, Keller let fly the frou. There were ruffles, metallic threading, pleating, soft pink and gold, tiers and even shiny red shoes.

Giambattista Valli Spring 2013

It seems to be a trend in Paris this season, to explore the masculin-feminin balance. Case in point: Giambattista Valli's runway, where suit silhouettes were loosened up and slightly girly-fied (hello, metallic shoes!) and more feminine shapes were reined in and done in a neutral palette.

Stella McCartney Spring 2013

Stella McCartney kept things light and fresh for spring, keeping a sporty beat throughout with lightweight layers and fluid shapes. She took simple silhouettes, like the sweatshirt, and turned it into something super chic by using a sheer techy fabric and layering it over a sheer dress with a giant yellow circle.


Givenchy Spring 2013

While the press has been focusing so much on Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane, Riccardo Tisci has quietly gone about his business as usual. And that is the business of creating a powerfully sexy, confident, beautiful look on the runways, one that manages to be both ultra feminine and sophisticated at the same time.

Tisci riffed on evening, with a parade of trim but roomy cropped tuxes, worn with skirt flaps and sheer blouses with clerical collars. Elsewhere, it was about the ruffle—a swirl of ruffles at the neck of a one-sleeved dress or around the shoulders of a black silk tunic.

John Galliano Spring 2013

Bill Gaytten's spring John Galliano collection was all about hyper-exaggerated silhouettes and drama, starting with the Downton-worthy-sized hats.

He took basic silhouettes like a robe coat or opera dress and pumped up the proportions.
Every exit focused on a certain detail, whether an oversized graphic or an architectural pinning, tucking and tying.

Hermès Spring 2013

Christophe Lemaire is passionate about honoring the Hermès heritage while shepherding it through current trends. Which means taking the core of the company—luxury, scarf prints and leather—and reworking it for a younger crowd.

To wit, there were a ton of little shorts, both silk printed or leather, paired with terrific coats and ladylike blouses.

The company actually had very humble roots in the 1830s making horse harnesses for the nobility. Fast forward 180 years (how's that for staying power?) and those tenets were still in view, as skinny suspenders worn with flight suits and saddlebag shorts.