Paris Fashion Week is always the wildest of the big four global fashion powwows (the other three being New York, Milan and London). Fittingly, it usually has the most exciting makeup, too. This season, we're coveting the winged liner at Lanvin and the silent film star makeup from Givenchy, but we also loved the beautiful shadow at Dior, the playful eyes at Manish Arora and the stunning lip colour at Kenzo. You should judge who "won" Paris for yourself, though. See close-ups of the makeup at every show from Chanel to Viktor & Rolf now and tell us your favourite look.
For Autumn/Winter 2012, Kanye West's sophomore collection showcased a darker, edgier mood, right down to the smudged kohl eyeliner and tough-girl knee-high boots. Further confirming what we think is one of Paris Fashion Week's most prevalent trends, the rapper-cum-designer sent out model after model in head-to-toe leather. From slick fit-and-flare skirts to ultracool biker jackets, the A/W '12 lineup was made for the girl who strikes a perfect balance between polished, super sexy, and, yeah, a little rough around the edges, too. Our full runway report is coming shortly, but click through to see Kanye's complete collection.
We gave you a rundown of the ten style-icons-in-the-making at the beginning of the year, but post-Fashion Week there's a fresher-than-fresh batch of girls to get to know. Elena Perminova, a Russian part-time model and new mum, caught our attention with her standout accessorising at Stella McCartney's Parisienne presentation, while fellow Russian designer, photographer and blogger Ulyana Sergeenko turned heads with her strictly ladylike aesthetic. Then there's beautiful Brit Mary Charteris, who is BFFs with Poppy Delevingne, is Daphne Guinness' niece, and quite the regular on the fashion party circuit. To round things out, there's there oh-so avant-garde Michelle Harper. The Columbian-born, NYC-based business woman stands out of the editrix throng thanks to her couture-inspired silhouettes and penchant for bold colour. You're going to see a lot more of these girls in the seasons to come, so do your background checks with their best Fashion Week looks first.
If you want real romance, look no further than Valentino's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. Creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli designed an impeccably gorgeous lineup of gowns, jumpsuits, and coats that — for lack of something less cliché to say — swept us off our feet. Picking up right where it left off after Spring '12, Valentino honed in on the ultra feminine details, neutral colour palette aside. Floor-skimming dresses were updated with panels of refined leather, sheer Victorian lace bodices and sleeves, and some were even artfully covered in glitter. Whether the pieces were endowed with rich tapestry embroidery, metallic floral embellishments, or a sweet collar bow tie, it all worked towards one well-defined theme of pretty elegance. Of course, no Valentino collection is complete without its signature red creations, and the A/W offerings didn't disappoint. We were particularly enamored with the cherry-hue frock adorned with scalloped edges and paired with matching red ankle-strap sandals.
- Trends: Victorian-inspired lace, glittery gowns, refined leather, scalloped hems, and pronounced rounded shoulders.
- Colours: Black, red, pink, white, and metallic beige.
- Key Piece: While the signature red numbers always slay us, we think any of the ultra feminine frocks (lace! sheer! glitter!) needs to make its way into our closet.
- Accessories: Portfolio clutches, slick black shoulder bags, and low-heeled ankle-strap sandals.
- Who Would Wear It: Valentino's longtime admirers à la Jaime King, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, and Michelle Williams.
Chanel is always the show we wait with bated breath for, and yesterday Karl Lagerfeld didn't disappoint with his jewel-toned, embellished vision for A/W '12. Apart from the supe' packed runway (Miranda! Montana!), the front row was just as delectable, with Chanel's loyal celebrity fan-base frocking up for Paris Fashion Week's most elegant event. From Elisa Sednaoui's cute crop top to Alicia Key's sci-fi head wear to Poppy Delevingne's peasant-inspired look, there were plenty of killer ensembles on show. Step inside and get a good look at Karl's well-dressed attendees.
Whilst the makeup at Chanel's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was show-stopping, the front row was a little lacking. This season's Paris Fashion Week regulars Alicia Keys and Katy Perry were there along with Chanel staple Poppy Delevingne but we were wondering where Alexa had gotten to. Still, Elisa Sednaoui, Zhou Xun and Laura Neiva still made for a glamorous crowd, so check out all the front row fixtures and their beauty looks up close now.
Both a reimagining and an homage to the label's signature aesthetic, Karl Lagerfeld plays in tweed, sporty silhouettes, and whimsical layers and texture (and bejewelled eyebrows) for Chanel's Autumn/Winter 2012. Lagerfeld's all-star cast (minus a noticeably absent Freja), including Miranda Kerr, Joan Smalls, Anja Rubik, and newbie Montana Cox took to the catwalk of a snowy white cave, done up in crystal embellishments that mirrored the life-size versions set on the runway. That in itself set the mood for whimsy, which only became more pronounced in Karl's colourful, metallic-embellished visions for A/W '12 — shimmer reflected in slim pants, sparkly-tinged knits, and sheer skirts. Meanwhile, Chanel's tweed got the rainbow treatment, as did the offering of diaphanous frocks with a dose of soft brights. Outerwear maintained the label's sophistication, though the flair for drama was evidenced in roomier silhouettes, some that gave way to boxier shapes with sloped, rounded shoulders, but more that skimmed and highlighted curves in hourglass proportions. That's not to say that it was "ladylike" — very little here spoke to Chanel's ladylike sensibility. In fact, the feel was overwhelmingly sportier. Even when textures were dressed up in rich metallic detail, shapes were more nonchalant — tunics and dresses layered over pants and perfectly slouchy knits topped trousers. There was nothing too literal; even in playfulness, Karl never overcommits. Jewel tones and geometric details felt fresh, and proportional play felt casual, not overworked. He knows exactly how to draw us in with the theatrics of his runway, but never loses sight of what we've all come to see.
- Trends: Dresses over pants, texture, sporty, brights, sheer, metallics.
- Colours: Black, green, white, fuchsia, purple, yellow, grey, teal, blue.
- Key Piece: The textured metallic trousers were amazing.
- Accessories: Cut-out buckled Lucite heels, oversize crystal pendants and matching bracelets, Chanel crossbody handbags and clutches in every hue.
- Who Would Wear It: Karl's girls, Diane Kruger, Rachel Bilson, and Blake Lively.
The Chanel Autumn/Winter 2012 show was all about crystals: ensembles covered in amethyst, runways strewn with sparkling sand and a set made of enormous stalagmites. In keeping with this theme, Miranda Kerr and her fellow models stepped out in rock-encrusted eyebrows in shades of grey, green, pink and purple, that co-ordinated nicely with their ensembles. We've seen a lot of interesting eyebrows these past few Fashion Weeks, everything from neon brow powder to bleach and studs. But this is the first time we've actually seen bespoke eyebrows that might as well be jewellery. It was teamed with the sleekest of sleek ponytails created by Sam McKnight, who used gel to get the high-shine worthy of a Chanel ponytail.
Stefano Pilati bid adieu to Yves Saint Laurent with a dark, sexy A/W 2012 in all moody iterations of womanly dress. There's both a sultry undercurrent and a definitive strength that runs throughout Pilati's finale. It's a give and take — boxier leather jackets and trousers, and sharp outerwear have as much of a place as slinky dresses and pencil skirts constructed in light-reflecting mesh. Even when Pilati zeroes in on more masculine construction, he never misses the mark of a woman — nearly every look is completed with a wide belt to accentuate the waist and plush fur accents are thrown effortlessly over shoulders. It's the kind of thing that — without being glaringly obvious — speaks to the power, the allure of a woman. It's not done up in bells and whistles, but you have a sense that it takes a certain kind of confidence to pull off the line's structured, streamlined white suit or ultra-low necklines — and it's clear Pilati's florals are crafted for women, not girls.
- Trends: Leather, fur, boxy jackets, sharp suiting, gloves, florals, sequin-like mesh.
- Colours: Black, green, gold, white.
- Key Piece: The colour-tinged, shimmering mesh on slinky evening dresses and pencil skirts.
- Accessories: Slick black boots, leather gloves, wide black belts, metallic pumps, sculptural wrap-around flower chokers.
- Who Would Wear It: This is for the modern-glam; front-row fans like Salma Hayek.