Long flowing dresses, ice-cream shades and layers of chiffon and organza meant that Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2011 presented a very feminine silhouette harping back to a bygone era. The whimsical and delicate fabrics were draped and layered to create structure from 50s style tiny waists with big skirts to the roaring 20s silver beading and straight up and down shaping.
Strong trends to emerge that we are likely to see on the high street include delicate applique, ribbon belts, and the maxi dress is definitely here to stay with long flowing skirts.
Recreate the Chanel look with soft-coloured floaty dresses and accessorise with a black ribbon belt fastened with a camellia flower brooch. Or pair a muted floaty dress with a sequined or studded jacket.
Red is still red hot so make sure that you have this colour in your wardrobe and pair it with colour-drenched red shoes. If you prefer a black dress, keep it up-to-date with a lace overlay or lace inserts.
And don’t forget to ditch the heels and embrace the flat for a spring daytime look that is in keeping with this season.
Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel was inspired by the soft blues, pinks, creams and greys in Marie Laurencin’s paintings.
What to take from it: Pale pink accented with black; cigarette leg trousers under dresses; sequins; ballet flats.
John Galliano for Dior was also inspired by an artist, the illustrator René Gruau
What to take from it: Rich reds; degradé fabrics; 50s silhouettes; puff-ball hems; cascading hems.
Christophe Josse is a relative newcomer to the Paris Haute Couture circuit but his modern yet sophisticated designs have made him influential.
What to take from it: soft fabrics and colours; floaty skirts; silver beading.
Two years after taking over as designers for Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have provide a collection that appeals to a strong-minded yet feminine woman.
What to take from it: muted colours; tomato red; long flowing gown; applique flowers.
Ellie Saab designed his latest collection for the fragile woman but with a strong personality – with character.
What to take from it: Coffee, deep red and black coloured fabrics; a touch of lace; ribbon belts on the waist.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier’s self styled French Punk Couture drew inspiration from the Moulin Rouge and their can-can girls.
What to take from it: hand painted strong colours; edgy yet feminine.