In case one forgot what show they were watching, the opening look's leather cardigan and a myriad of leather touches would surely signal that this was Hermès. The French house's Veronique Nichanian is one of fashion's blue chip designers, she consistently creates some of the most sumptuous and wearable fashion around. These leathers and cashmeres are not the same type you'd find at fast fashion retailers, they're the best, most luxurious and most luscious. Season after season, she does this with a sense of ease and nonchalance that it's no wonder she's lasted so long at Hermès when so many stay no longer than 3 years at a fashion post. For SS17, aside from the requisite leather pants, cashmere knits and obnoxiously covetable bags, an electric hue of yellow stood out, like a billboard for the rich: buy me. Even if one doesn't have bottomless coffers, it still spoke to you and now you want to buy it but alas...
The ink that solidified the sale of Balmain to Qatari company Mayhoola had barely dried when Olivier Rousteing showcased his latest collection for the Paris-based label. Rousteing's following is large on social media, thanks in part to his friendship with Kanye West and the Kardashian family, his staunch followers called themselves (or he calls them? Not quite sure which happened first) the Balmain Army. Well, said army was on the move for SS17 in a nomadic collection full of natural hues - greens, browns and blues - as well as a plethora of denim. As with any Balmain collection, the embellishment was opulent (think turquoise, gems and medallions) while the workmanship was stellar. Par for the course for the high-cheek boned designer and his glamorous squad of equally high cheek boned models.
South Korean designer Juun J's latest collection was inspired by tech used by fighter pilots in the 1940s to allow them to be conscious when there were sharp changes in air pressure in the cabin. In essence, it was a parachute inside the plane. The result was a voluminous collection that used the cords seen on these devices, as well as dramatic fabric usage to create a balloon effect. In addition, there were some great, more understated - relatively speaking, pieces that stood out including a cinched leather hoodie paired with oversized jeans and the ultra-wide suiting that was reminiscent of Balenciaga's SS17 looks.
Flamboyant colors and fabrics littered Pigalle's SS17 collection with iridescence, cropped trousers, and a play on femininity with pearls and other traditionally female accessories and clothes.
Many designers are often inspired by the ocean or by water and their collection oft times showcases sailor inspired looks or mermaids. Julien David was also inspired by the ocean but the reference came in the form of his fabrications and the color palette. The fabrics were innovative in their movement and resemblance to waves, in effect utilizing the theme in a fashion-forward direction.
Set along the now-receded Seine, Paul & Joe's latest menswear collection proffered cool sportswear with a healthy dose of tailored pieces, like sharply cut shorts or a loose tuxedo seen in the final look.
Kris Van Assche's latest collection for Dior Homme was punk-infused with strong sexual and subversive undertones. Rivets on a suit, chain necklaces and harnesses across the body brought the idea home while bottom-heavy tailoring saw a slim bodice and voluminous bottoms, often paired with sneakers or combat boots. This is one of the Belgian designer's most overtly sexy collections and set against the festive light installation that made up a large chunk of the show space, the resulting feast for the eyes was quite a juxtaposition.
Kenzo's latest collection harped on pack culture in the 80s with bands of models walking out together donning bright, intentionally garish clothes that one might see one's parents wearing in a photo album from that decade. The athletic-minded collection offered jumpsuits, technical fabric-ed sweaters and more, some with kitschy saying like "Brilliant".
Sacai's latest collection was inspired by the dystopian-themed film and novel A Clockwork Orange, whose plot follows a band of misfits as they wreak havoc wherever they go. It was then surprising to see such lightness in the collection, though there were multiple layers, some looking quite heavy and off-season, the inspiration and the resulting clothing were not of the same dsytopic realm. In any effect, the armor-like moto jackets, hot purple jumpsuits, and the very cool patterns utilized gave the collection a feel of trying to escape rather than trying to find and create trouble.