Highlights from Paris’s Fashion Week.
1. Saint Laurent: Punk Goes to the Prom
Now that Saint Laurent has announced that its revenues doubled in the past year, the fashion purists’ grumbles are growing weaker, but getting grumpier, at the brand’s show on Monday evening in Paris. There’s a vast segment of fashion-goers who see the brand—once known as Yves Saint Laurent—as a sacred haute couture label. They hate to see it producing punk-party dresses worn over ripped fishnet stockings and pert booties.
Designer Hedi Slimane has delved deep into Mr. Saint Laurent’s drug-tormented period of around 1970—the Rive Gauche years—for the ethos that drives this label. Updated to 2015, it’s about frothy debauched pink prom dresses and black leather rock-n-roll mini dresses that start out too short and pile on a high slit. No one wants their daughter to be a Saint Laurent girl.
Also, though, no one should fail to see the masterful merchandising that tells the story of how this label doubled those revenues: There’s an archly tailored gray jacket slung over that pink prom frock and a whole string of skinny black suits that are tailored within an inch of their lives. Not to mention all those black leather handbags hanging from the show guests’ shoulders. —Christina Binkley
2. Leonard: Heavy Hitter
French label Leonard Paris stepped away from more than 50 years of tradition, showing a collection of heavy, structured garments that shocked many viewers.
The house, whose original slogan was “150 grams of happiness” in reference to its lightweight jersey dresses, showed almost none of its well-known bright flowery prints. Instead, animal patterns and other more subtle prints took the lead.
The change comes a year after the arrival of Chinese-born designer Yiqing Yin to the position of creative director. At Monday’s runway, guests could be heard muttering their astonishment at the change in the brand’s aesthetics.
Leonard’s founder Daniel Tribouillard admitted that it was a “total breakaway from what Leonard is.” Speaking after the show, he said it was the new designer’s desire to work with heavier fabrics. “I’m happy with the renewal, if it makes itself felt on the business side,” Mr. Tribouillard said. —Nadya Masidlover
3. Hermès: Suede Perfection
Hermès takes its ready to wear too seriously. We can’t blame the designers. Designer after designer, the French perfectionist brand’s clothes lack the vivacious humor of its fantastic scarves, and often its jewelry, dishes, umbrellas, table clothes and other sundry luxury goods. They are, though, lovely and made of the world’s best suede, leather, silk, wool and other materials.
Hermès installed a new designer this season: Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, who has worked previously at the Row. (The Row is another label whose clothes are lovely and luxurious and utterly timeless.) At Hermès, she replaced Christophe Lemaire, who four years earlier replaced Jean-Paul Gaultier —a humorist designer if ever there was one, for his own lines.
Her debut was utterly lovely. Perfect suede slacks, perfect long knit dresses—one in a shocking banana yellow—and perfect warm blanket-like suits. —Christina Binkley
4. Sonia Rykiel: ’70s to the Max
The hippest coeds around (and their mothers) will be wearing Sonia Rykiel’s velvet maxi-dresses and jumpsuits, and metallic silver leather pants. It’s extraordinary to see how quickly a savvy designer can take a moribund brand and hot-ify it.
Julie de Libran’s first collection for the label, for spring, has just reached stores so we don’t yet know if consumers will reach for their credit cards. Within the fashion crowd, though, the verdict is in. Sonia Rykiel—in the hands of the former studio director for Marc Jacob’s Louis Vuitton—has turned from moribund to must-have.
Ms. Libran says her favorite era is the ’70s, and it shows in her fall collection, which captures the vivacious, experimental nature of that era, but updates it, all the while adhering to the modes of the house: the stripe, the pencil-skirt shape, and edgy details that Ms. Rykiel herself once pioneered, like the patches on fur coats. —Christina Binkley
5. Stella McCartney: Fur Fakeout
Stella McCartney, who is vehemently anti-fur and leather, showed fuzzy, fake-fur coats for fall, with a hint of disco era when done in white. A dark-colored one, though, was hard to distinguish from real fur on the runway.
Her spunky collection, like Phoebe Philo’s Celine, is always about real women with busy lives. Ms. McCartney’s looks are higher energy though, and enough are produced that they can be found in stores. Long, wide slacks, some with huge cuffs, and half sweaters that covered just arm, gave her fall collection a relaxed ease.
Curved, chunky heels marked her booties—still in ’70s style as is the trend. The trouble with faux leather, though, is that it can’t easily be buffed back to perfection when it’s been scratched.
So the shoes have a shorter life (I know from personal experience with Ms. McCartney’s shoes), which may add to the waste stream, among other problems. Sometimes, you just can’t win. —Christina Binkley
6. Giambattista Valli : Camouflage Prints
Few collections are more expensive than Giambattista Valli’s, and few have a better row of global socialites. His are ripe with Fiat-family scions and women named Niarchos, Radziwill, or Santo Domingo. He has lately been dressing a lot of celebrities as well, including Rihanna’s memorable frothy pink Grammy Awards gown.
Net-a-Porter founder and chairman, Natalie Massenet, noted, as she exited the show on Monday at Paris’s Grand Palais that his clothes sell particularly well in the Middle East, where money is often no object.
This is all because Mr. Valli has a keen sense of how to assemble flattering clothes out of wildly elaborate fabrics. His designs have enough structure to camouflage mature bodies where they require it, but they have a youthful verve. His long, jacquard bell-bottoms with botanical prints were gorgeous—even if the huge collection could have been edited down. He out-Missoni-ed Missoni with a zigzag-striped suit of a tunic over matching slacks. —Christina Binkley
The first Paris exhibition dedicated to the French couturier Jeanne Lanvin opens this week at the Palais Galliera. It tells the story of the extraordinary Mademoiselle (Melle Jeanne), a former milliner who established her first shop in 1885, launched a childrenswear and womenswear in 1908 and a best-selling perfume, Arpège, in 1927.
One of fashion’s first superwomen, her business was largely inspired by her only daughter Marguerite (the inseparable mother and daughter are still depicted in the house’s signature logo) and the exhibition has been designed to make people fall in love once more with the couturier. Fair enough: it would seem most unsisterly to snub someone who built their house on the foundation of maternal devotion (and savvy business acumen).
Created in close association with the house’s incumbent artistic director Alber Elbaz, who has led Lanvin since 2001, the exhibition had inspired Elbaz to go back to his roots in Morocco and to tell a story of “urban travel”.
The show opened gently: a pair of equestrian-style trousers with a tasselled belt and flashing red stripes down the side, worn tucked into stack-heeled boots and paired with a white top and navy jacket. The line was sharper than usual and more pulled together. Similar looks followed — graphic tops and skirts, robe coats and simple jersey dresses cinched with asymmetric harness belts that snaked around the bust and shoulder. Then more layers were added: a 1970s-style fedora hat sliced away on one side, fur and fringing, long black gloves, passementerie belts and more tassels.
Then came the haute hippies, a clutch of chiffon-clad, shearling-snuggled Bohemians in metallic spun gowns that fell to the floor, Berber striped separates, golden silks, patchwork furs and python. From a palette of mostly black, there came a flash of autumnal colour — tonal reds, butter yellow, pale blues and ochre.
And then it all went quiet again. The final looks recalled the same austerity of the first though now embellished with red embroidery and sequin florals and flushed with pitch-black velvet.
It was an idiosyncratic collection, or as Elbaz described it “an endless game of contrasts”, and felt almost episodic in its unveiling. But although it took a meandering tour through many different landscapes, it told a familiar story: here were wearable clothes for real women. With tassels on, too.Read more at:cocktail dresses
Plagued by problems like hair loss and greying, most young women's crowning glory is no longer their hair.
With help from experts, convert the bane in your life to a boon by trying out natural solutions.
According to a random survey by IANS, hair loss, dandruff, greying and split ends top the list of hair problems faced by women in their 20s.
"At this age, the body undergoes lots of hormonal changes along with (sometimes stressful) landmark events happening in women's lives, like marriage, pregnancy and job worries.
"All of these events occupy a great deal of time, which means hair can go unattended. Not taking adequate care, combined with nutritional changes, can lead to havoc for hair," Kapil Dua, co-founder and chief hair transplant surgeon at Delhi-based AK Clinics, told IANS.
It is also the time when women want to look their best and stay in shape, for which some end up doing crash dieting. Seema Saadikha, an expert in clinical nutrition, says it is one of the causes of hair loss.
"Crash dieting causes nutritional deficiencies like magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D3. People on diet should get their blood investigation done and consume proper nutritional supplements," she said.
Beauty and hair expert Shahnaz Husain suggests including oil in your beauty regime for luscious locks.
She says oiling the hair once a week a night before washing it off is a good idea, and using olive or pure coconut oil are conducive for healthy hair. A tip -- try not to vigorously massage your head as in case of hair loss, the roots are already weak.
"Use only fingertips and move the scalp in small rotary movements. If the hair is dry, shampoo twice a week. Those with oily hair should avoid oil applications and shampoo three or four times a week. But use less shampoo. Dilute it with water and then apply," said Husain, who also advises to keep dandruff in check as it is one of the reasons for hair loss.
But you can't battle dandruff if you don't know its root cause!
Sachin Dhawan, Dermatologist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), explains what leads to dandruff.
"Dandruff is caused by malessezia yeasts naturally growing on the scalp. It happens more on oily scalps and due to hard water. Dry allergic dandruff happens due to shampoo allergies and use of hot water.
"Natural ways to treat dandruff include using apple cider vinegar mixed with water to wash off and using a mix of lemon and hung curd as a hair pack for 20 minutes," he said.
Though every star promotes ageing gracefully, no one really wants salt and pepper look when they are just in their 20s. Sadly, grey hair is the story of many young women's lives.
Use gooseberry, says Husain.
"Soak a handful of dry gooseberries in two to three cups of water overnight. Next morning, strain the water, but do not throw it away. Grind the gooseberries. To henna powder, add the ground gooseberries, four teaspoons each lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs, two teaspoons oil and enough gooseberry water, mixing into a thick paste.
"Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply on the hair. Make sure the entire head is covered. Keep it on for at least two hours and wash off with plain water," she said.
Another way to maintain black hair is to use a mixture of beetroot juice and coconut oil.
"It will give white hair a crimson colour, but if there are a few white hair strands, the colour will mix with the rest of the dark hair and provide coloured streaks," she said.
Young women also complain of split ends, lack of shine and frizziness.
Sirisha Singh, founding member and partner consultant of The Skin Center, says these problems are related to the hair shaft.
"The hair shaft is composed of keratin, which is essentially dead. These problems of the hair shaft are generally related to hair styling products, use of other hair care products and the general hair care," she said.
The problems can be greatly minimised by using a conditioner first. Also, minimise the use of hair dryers and hot irons.
"When the hair is wet, there's water inside the hair shaft. Use of a heating device causes the water inside the hair shaft to bubble. These bubbles make the hair rough and increase the tendency to split ends," she said.
Natural ways to to prevent split ends is to have a healthy protein-rich diet, especially animal and milk proteins and soy proteins, says Dhawan.
"Use a combination of rose hip oil and castor oil for hydrating the hair and conditioning with egg white," he added.Read more at:cocktail dresses australia