He turned the runway into a supermarket! Karl Lagerfeld’s theatrical staging will leave a lasting impression with the show’s attendees and online voyeurs alike, but despite its column-inch clout, it wasn’t the only thing worthy of stirring the industry at Paris Fashion Week. A month into the shows, and Paris really has to pack the punches to wake up the travel weary show goers. And it did just that, presenting us with exciting new direction and a tight set of trends bound for commercial success.
Here, we’ve analyzed the online data that the week’s events creates, to bring you Paris’s 10 biggest trends for Fall 2014.
1. The Paris Palette
Paris showed strong support of the pastel palette that retailers are currently embracing for SS14, with Rochas, Chloé, Givenchy, Giambattista Valli and Chanel showing creamy shades of pink, blush, lavender and blue. Stronger tones were sought out in the reds, maroons and oranges that we’ve seen backed by designers at New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week, and designers in Paris weren’t afraid to use these palettes in head to toe looks. Forest greens and khakis were also big news, shown by Stella McCartney, Guy Laroche, Balmain, Acne and Céline.
2. Karl’s Kingdom
Karl Lagerfeld’s ability to tap into the hype machine belies his eighty years. Chanel’s supermarché was stocked with branded goods, the models were rehearsed in loading up their carts and the front row were desperate to get on Instagram. The clothes matched with the boldness of the statement: more art-inspired prints in a bright palette and overblown proportions. Pastels, metallics, turtle necks, quilting and appliqué were all there, yes it was crazy, but the online world lapped it up, earning Chanel the title as PFW’s most talked-about brand.
3. Theme: 70s
In the pussy-bow-necked disco dresses at Saint Laurent, the zippered shifts at Carven, in psychedelic swirling prints at Acne and the gently flared pants worn with matching capes at Emmanuel Ungaro, the 1970s were woven through this season both with subtlety and purpose. The best were perhaps from Chloé, whose louche, contrast-buttoned camel shirt, worn with cuffed shorts and over-knee boots floated the theme home without a hint of drag.
4. Theme: Layered Texture
It’s been the most visible and exciting theme across each of the four fashion capitals, and Paris’s offering stood up to it’s competition. Sacai gave an absolute masterclass in the execution of the textured trend, showing depth, layering and concoctions of surfaces that begged to be touched. Puffer, shearling, knit, silk, patent leather, wools, fringing and acres and acres of fur in every color under the sun: mark our words, this trend will define the high street come winter.
5. Detailing: Embellishment
Paris’s got kitsch with the embellishment, loading up outerwear, dresses, knit and sweaters with oversized treasures. There were diamanté arrows at Carven, oversized sequins on dresses at Saint Laurent, tassels at Stella McCartney and appliqué flowers adorned with jewels at Emmanuel Ungaro. The effect is lighthearted and conversational rather than staid and ornate – have fun with this one!
As Rihanna puts it so well, PFW suggests for Fall we should all ‘shine bright like a diamond’. Happily, that’s as far as the popstrel’s influence on this trend went, and the metallics designers used were played out on very covetable and very wearable garments. Dries Van Noten’s holographic maxi skirts were paired with ovoid tops, Paco Rabanne trimmed the lapels of an earthy wool jacket in silver and Isabel Marant reworked those scrunchy minidresses in a shimmering golden snake print – saved from gaudiness thanks to clever drape and casual jersey underdress. That will certainly sell.
7. Statement Piece: Oversized Outerwear
Big coats will bring even bigger commercial success for winter 2014, having now been a hit trend in each of the four cities. There is so much to work with here, so tie it carefully to customer, whether you choose to follow Paule Ka’s lead with giant capes, the soft pillows of Chloé’s puffer coats, the ballooned parkas at Stella McCartney or the multi-colored furs at Lanvin. This trend is about making a statement, so don’t shy from print, color or texture.
8. Leopard Print
Leopard print is always lurking somewhere during fashion month, but Paris brought it out into the limelight, purring throatily at centre stage. Designers used the print in their hordes, it was seen on a peacoat, pencil skirt and matching heel at Carven, in the paneled corsets and peplum skirts at Balmain, on asymmetric wool skirts at Acne and double-faced coats at Céline. Palettes stuck to traditional rendering, or grey-scale.
9. Detailing: Feature Zips
A trend unique to Paris was the use of chunky zippers as detailing: both structural and focal or purely decorative. Seen at Givenchy, Chloé, John Galliano, Stella McCartney and Roland Mouret, the metal work hints at hardware without taking its garment outside of the apparel world or too far away from femininity.
10. Statement Piece: The Sweater
The sweater has been inundated with invites into the new season, and it has whole-heartedly accepted, refusing to budge from its glowing spot on fashion’s radar. There were sweater dresses at Acne, Céline and Stella McCartney, velvet and mohair paneled at Rochas, and fabricated from mesh at Balenciaga. Kenzo surprised with an embellished knit that at first look was a sweater, but on closer inspection was in fact a concealed-fastening cardigan. Have they seen the future perhaps?