Friday, March 03, 2006

Paris Fashion Week

In honor of today being the last day of the Paris Fall Fashion Week I have decided to spend tonight rummaging through my wardrobe. I have two dinners this weekend, not to mention laundry and all the other typical weekend errands, so doing this over the weekend is out. Plus, there is no greater motivation than tall, thin, lifeless dolls languidly walking down a narrow runway in the latest Chanel or YSL couture when it comes to a wardrobe makeover.

My personal style is fairly simple. I have and will always prefer a cute shirt or a fitted tee and a great pair of jeans or a little black skirt to the entire rack of new arrivals at Banana Republic. But at the same time, I have been feeling a little stuck in fashion rut lately. Part of this is reflective of the internal state of my mind. Color therapists will tell you that when you are in a gray mood you are more likely to pull on something dull and gray. To cheer yourself up you are supposed to do the exact opposite and pull on something bright and colorful. Easier said than done because bright bottle green when you are feeling restless just seems incongruous. Besides, as a ninety year old toothless man once told me, I look good in gray! But then again, what do I know. I am not a color therapist (and neither was my ninety year old admirer I am pretty sure), so I am going to give it a try.

If you are reading this, consider this fair warning. This post, with a few exceptions, will almost entirely be about fashion.

Fall 2006 Paris Runway Show

Those (above) are my favorite looks from this year! From top to bottom: row 1 is Stefano Pilati for YSL, row 2 is Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, row 3 is Tischi for Givenchy, row 4 is Isabel Marant, row 5 is Jean Paul Gaultier and row 6 is, from left to right, Hussein Chalayan (#1 & #2), Sophia Kokosalaki (#3 & #4) and Ann Demeulemeester (#5).

The difference between fashion and style is that fashion is very much of the moment whereas style is timeless. Style is all about adapting fashion trends to suit your personality rather than borrowing looks straight off the runway. Much as I love every single one of the above looks I would look ridiculous if I walked out of my home looking like a picture not to mention the fact that I will probably go bankrupt if I tried.


I love what Pilati has done for YSL. It's very French chic revival meets S&M and what's better, the looks are accessible. I am not crazy about the shapeless jacket in the first picture or the fur collars in 1 & 3 for that matter but I can wear the cropped pants and the ankle boots with regular turtlenecks or buttondown shirts. The third ensemble is fine on its own if you remove the fur collar and I love the little black dress and those goth glam shoes in the middle picture. What's better, I already have the turtlenecks, buttowndown shirts, wide black belt, the little black skirtsuit and the ankle boot so all I need are the cropped pants and the dress & the shoes (or similar ones) in the middle picture.


I loved everything by Rochas. Theyskens said his look was inspired by chimney sweeps. Clearly I am in the wrong profession. I should be a chimney sweep! The first picture was wishful thinking on my part because even my most glamorous holiday parties don't call for anything so glamorous but the second and the third outfits can easily go from work to evening. Unfortunately, I don't have any of these pieces so I may have to buy them. But, the good news is that they are versatile, will work well for Spring as well (at least the the pants and the top) and will mix well with what I already own. Growing up I was so used to getting only 1 or 2 new outfits a year that it was important for my clothes to multi-task. Now that I can afford more I still like things to multi-task. Some lessons just stay with you.


Givenchy was one of the few houses to deviate from the black & white theme preferred by most designers for fall. They didn't exactly go too far but the pale blues and the splashes of red really stood out. I already have the black skirt and I have a pale blue shirt (no one said, when adapting a runway fashion to your wardrobe, you have to stick to the exact same item - a pale blue top can be replaced by a pale blue shirt, that is unless you do have the budget to go buy everything new every season). I just need a semi-sheer red blouse and a wide red belt. I think I will pass on the white pumps, gorgeous as they are.

Isabel Marant

I love the stark black & white of Isabel Marant. It's so quintessentially French. All these looks, however, seem to be geared towards teenagers so much as I love them I think I will stick to what I already own except for 2 things. I am getting a black satin belt like the one in the first picture to use with my sleeveless white sheath dress and a black & white print skirt to wear with my black turtleneck.

Jean Paul Gaultier

I really liked these when I first saw them but now that I am looking at them again I am not so sure. They are simply not my style. I do like the yellow dress in the third picture though except maybe with less feather. And minus a poodle.

Hussein Chalayan, Sophia Kokosalaki and Ann Demeulemeester

Another designer I love, next to Pilati and Olivier Theyskens, is Hussein Chalayan. I want everything from the first two pictures. I would wear them unaltered, just as they are. From the rest I like the long black skirt and the silver tube top (except without the fur collar) from the 3rd picture, the boots in the 4th picture and the skirt in the last one. I have a long black skirt but none of the other items.

Just one problem I can see from the above is that famous designers, like me, seem to prefer the monochromatic theme. Not a whole lot of color up there, is it? So, I guess, I am on my own on that.


Blogger Donna said...

Hi there, I'm here via Coloratura, I've been skimming your archives so I thought I would do the right thing and introduce myself. If you don't mind I'd like to link you on my blog, I like to keep up with folks once I've "discovered" them.

3/03/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger cherchezlafemme said...

Hi Donna, welcome. And sure, feel free to link me from your blog. :)

3/04/2006 12:36 AM  
Blogger Reviewer "Devil" Extraordinaire said...

Thank you !

I am getting incredibly tired of the 'woman's uniform' these days a.k.a skimpy embellished tank top + some designer jeans. Can I say cookie cutter ? Sheesh !

And also I am getting really tired of those ubiquitous ginormous sunglasses.

It is sad how even with the kind of weather we have in the Bay Area, how few women wear dresses/skirts.

I don't know if you feel that way. But for me, almost every dress in the set seems like something Audrey Hepburn would wear. A very GOOD thing.

3/04/2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger beefdrop said...

Oh God.

3/06/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger cherchezlafemme said...

beefdrop, It says fashion right at the top. You didn't have to read it.

reviewer, I have one of those ginormous sunglasses. They're great.

3/07/2006 2:54 AM  
Blogger beefdrop said...

Don't get me wrong, I have been a fan of fashion television since I was like 10, then again, I think it was the nudity I enjoyed the best (memories of late nights watching 'Fashion File').

And I didn't read it, but did have to check it out, as I am addicted to your blog site.

I have an idea, if you do pose pictures of fashion on your blog, can there atleast be a little bit of nudity, like maybe a nipple or two? You know, for the guys... (just joking, hehee)

3/07/2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger beefdrop said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/08/2006 2:33 PM  
Blogger Coloratura said...

these are gorgeous... you have good taste, my dear!

miss your posts, where are you?

and thanks for your good wishes the other day... =)

3/08/2006 10:33 PM  
Blogger cherchezlafemme said...

Coloratura, thanks. Now if I only had a pay to match my taste! I will resume posting soon. :)

3/09/2006 7:46 AM  
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