Designers once again looked to times past as old-fashioned glamour featured heavily on the catwalks at Paris Couture Spring 2012. From Givenchy’s roaring 20s long lines to the womanly silhouettes of the 40s and 50s at Christian Dior. British designer Bill Gaytten has filled the hole that John Galliano left at fashion house Dior with his unceremonious exit last year. Gaytten’s creations were a nod to Hollywood’s golden era and Dior’s own ‘New Look’ from the late 40s, which he must hope will cement him as the lead creative designer for Dior rather than be replaced with a new big-name designer brought in.
Jean Paul Gautier’s collection took both it’s look and inspiration from tragic Brit singer Amy Winehouse. With her music playing in the background and models sporting her signature beehive, beauty spot and cat-eyed flick eye make-up.
Elie Saab’s under-sea shimmering shades, fabrics and floaty feel had us longing for spring and walks along the seaside in sorbet fresh hues.
If there was anything to take from the haute couture week in Paris for your spring summer wardrobe it is floaty fabrics such as organza, chiffon and silk, feminine shapes that enhance the figure rather than cling and longer hemlines with knee-length for day and ballgown for evening.
It was structure and luxe dressing that took centre stage for Georgio Armani. Shades of green from chartreuse to lime accented his collection and his nod to snake prints and animalistic texture, he said, were because his inspiration had been metamorphosis.
Trends to take from it: Power dressing, cigarette leg capri trousers, watery tones
Karl Lagerfeld was clearly influenced by the blue skies, getaways and air hostesses, past and present, for Chanel’s SS12 collection – so much so his runway was made to look like the aisle of a private jet.
Trends to take from it: all the blue that the sky has to offer, texture and embellishment
With Grace Kelly-esque grooming and elegance, this collection showed that Bill Gaytten’s creative direction is just as classic Dior as John Galliano’s was.
Trends to take from it: layering, 40s silhouette, hollywood glamour
‘In this collection I thought about a very modern princess,’ the Lebanese designer said. ‘I though of the fairytales which all girls dream of in order to come up with this collection. I thought of very soft colours but ones that still retained the dazzle I wanted to achieve in this collection.’
Trends to take from it: Ice-cream shades, flower applique and long flowing skirts
With hints of classic Coco Chanel this collection by Italian Valli is fun, flirty, sophisticated and sexy. His fabrics and cuts make women feel feminine and help them stand out from the crowd – if only we had somewhere to wear his frothy but gorgeous gowns!
Trends to take from it: Brights, floral adornments and monochrome sequin
The small but edgy art deco collection designed by Riccardo Tisci seems to echo a dark edge popular in film, tv and literature at the moment. His high-society meets punk will hit a note with some but felt much more like an autumn winter collection
Trends to take from it: don’t ditch the dark, 30’s halternecks and layering
Stephane’s SS collection stays true to his colour palette ‘using only primary red, white and black, with the exception of accents in absinthe green to enhance the purity of cut and balance of volume.’ He describes the collection as ‘an effortless blend of timeless allure, adamant respect for haute couture traditions, classic modernity, serious chic, and a dash of mystery.’
Trends to take from it: The striking combination of red, white and black, metallic belts, feathered skirts
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli nostalgic collection reflects a more virtuous time. They describe the collection as ‘intimate, shy, evanescent, and virginal’
Trends to take from it: Edwardian fabrics, pretty florals and feminine puritan