The Wylde Edit: Paris Fashion Week AW16
Words by Brent Taalur Ramsey
In an almost swift and seamless motion, it was Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia that appeared on the runway this season. At once true to herself and distinctly respectful of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s legacy of tailoring, the show wasn’t without a few Vetements influences. Nonchalant models mixed streetwear staples of puffer jackets, denim and leather with strict architectural tailoring to create a cool-uncool play on contemporary elegance. Gvasalia excelled at presenting wearable options for a modern woman - two-piece suit and all.
Riccardo Tisci showcased his strengths in military tailoring this season with a unique collection inspired by ancient Egypt, filled with prints of mandalas, hieroglyphs, and the Eye of Horus. But this collection wasn’t soley about the printed blouse or dress - though there were several chic options with exposed backs and engineered silhouettes. Officer’s coats and jackets were paired with smart shorts, while well-placed fur, leopard spots and python provided decadent textures. Vibrant and wearable, or dark and mysterious, this collection had it all.
On a runway of shattered mirrors and concrete created by the artist Justin Morin, Nicolas Ghesquière once again breathed new life into the luxury heritage of Louis Vuitton. Inspired by a woman on the move, Autumn/Winter 2016 dictated a wardrobe of fierce classicism, presenting sportswear influences seen in motorsports leathers, razor-sharp cropped jackets and structured bra tops. Ghesquière's relentless quest for modernity incorporated adventure and athleticism into his ultra-contemporay day wear.
As a label, Sonia Rykiel has always focused on family, and since her arrival in May 2014, artistic director Julie de Libran isn’t about to let that change. This season she collaborated with collage artist Maggie Cardelús for a special print showcasing the faces of every influential Rykiel woman: Sonia herself, her daughter Nathalie, her granddaughter Lola, De Libran and Cardelús. Appearing throughout the collection, it graced several of our favourite looks, including a leather cropped jacket and midi-skirt set, and dreamy ruffled silk dresses. Signature Rykiel stripes paid tribute to the house’s heritage, while elongated 1970's-inspired silhouettes took centre stage.
The ballerina-inspired Autumn/Winter 2016 collection by Maison Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli had a mesmerising on-duty/off-duty appeal, epitomised in its flowing jersey dresses, soft silk velvets and an extra-tough black leather coat. Calling on the works of choreographers Martha Graham, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, this season balanced workout-influenced separates with elegant eveningwear, tutu-inspired fluttering chiffon and Valentino's signature exquisite embroidery. Chiuri and Piccioli triumphed in creating a collection that was once wearable, desirable, acutely feminine and show-stopping.