Yves Saint Laurent's evening show on 4 March at Paris Fashion Week can be aptly described as a revolution. That is, a revolution against classic prêt-à-porter styles.
Creative director for Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, produced a collection that rebelled against the fashion house's penchant for creating poised and elegant pieces. Instead, choosing to "grunge it up" with leather, flannel and vintage inspired wear. Never before have we seen a showcase from the eponymous fashion house consisting of leather bras, ultra-minis and flannel shirts. Personally, I admire his attempt to be daring and different (plus I am a huge fan of leather), but since YSL himself was not an advocate of creating "fashion" but rather "style", I think he would be turning in his grave at the sight of this collection.
Valentino also risked producing a collection for the Autumn/Winter season not aligned with the label's history. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, diverged from the traditional gowns and ruffles for which Valentino is famously known, to produce a collection combined with elements of floral weaves and high neck, high waisted and long sleeved styles. The designers claim to have been inspired by Flemish old master paintings, the tensions between severity and grace and the glorification of the everyday, from Delft pottery to tapestry carpets - that they were is clearly evident in their designs.
Unsurprisingly, Karl Lagerfeld's creative genius shone through in his collection for Chanel. Although a more modern and edgy look was present in some of his pieces (take the leather thigh high boots worn by his models as an example) is collection still contained the right balance of classic Chanel style - tweed, wool, the little black dress and beautifully cut coats.
The fashion house of the late Alexander McQueen held an intimate viewing of its collection rather than a runway show (as creative director, Sarah Burton, is currently on maternity leave). An extravaganza of gothic and elizabethan inspired wear, the season's collection is true to the unique McQueen style.
Image sources: The Telegraph (UK) & (for the McQueen photos) Jason Lloyd Evans