Hubert Burda Media

Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016: Céline, Givenchy, Sacai, Hermès

It’s all about the layering.

After a blockbuster spring/summer collection that instigated the lingerie trend that’s still resonating everywhere, Phoebe Philo toned down the femininity of that show for a line-up of oversize knits, shirts and trench coats that were anything but frilly. Save for some dresses – the ones in draped ivory satin and the knit ones were true winners – the collection consisted mainly of layered looks: big coats worn over tunics and flared trousers, with bags attached to the waist for a utilitarian kind of vibe that was very urban and in line with what’s happening in fashion right now. Things got softer when Philo used bouclé for pieces such as a short black dress embellished with sparkly details, which provided a much-needed counterpoint to an otherwise subdued collection that will definitely reveal some keepers once it’s broken down at retail.

Bella Hadid made her first appearance during Paris Fashion Week at the Givenchy show, where she sported a bulky black bomber jacket worn over a lace-and-velvet dress.
Her outfit summed up two undercurrents that have been at the core of Riccardo Tisci’s tenure as creative director of the brand: street and couture; urban and glamour; masculine and feminine.
He’s been playing with these tropes throughout his decade at Givenchy, never straying too far from what has proved to be an extremely successful formula that has found plenty of followers among both girls and boys.
His shows, often held in cavernous venues with models quickly stomping down the runway as electronic music plays in the background, have an almost tribal quality to them, and if you’re already part of this tribe, you’re definitely in for what’s to come.
Animal patterns, from leopard to python; esoteric prints, this time Egyptian inspired; hard tailoring juxtaposed with soft silhouettes; military pieces paired with chiffon pleated dresses – Tisci mined his repertoire again for autumn/winter while also introducing a series of patchwork leather separates and a silhouette of shorts worn with jackets that represented an evolution in his remarkable oeuvre at a label that he has revolutionized and made completely his own.

Come winter, if you’re on the hunt for a great coat that keeps you warm while also making you look very au courant, look no further than Sacai. The Japanese brand has always been the go-to label for beautiful and functional separates, especially outerwear, and with fashion’s current obsession with all things utilitarian, Sacai is primed to ride this new wave. From navy wool coats with fur details to shearling and down jackets, most worn with the layered skirts that have also become a Sacai staple, Chitose Abe stuck to her winning formula of no-nonsense clothes with unexpected twists. This time, those twists came courtesy of zippers, which Abe applied to the sleeves of coats and to a series of shorts that, although challenging for the wearer, were a nice respite from her signature drop-waist skirts. Except for a few styling tricks such as harness-like straps and furry mittens, this was a collection of desirable pieces that will keep her loyal clients coming back for more. They just have to look beneath all those layers to no doubt find a few covetable items.

Whispered luxury is what Hermès does best and this autumn/winter collection, the third designed by Céline and The Row alumna Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski, was a beautiful study in luxe textures and soft volumes.
It’s true that accessories are the bread and butter of the French maison but the clothes Vanhee-Cybulski designs provide a rich canvas for the bags, shoes, scarves and leather goods that are synonymous with Hermès.
It’s a shame that you can’t touch or look at the clothes up close as they parade down the runway because they really need to be felt and worn to be fully appreciated.
Whether it’s a hooded shearling jacket in olive green, a grey herringbone-patterned fur coat or a burgundy top with leather panels, Vanhee-Cybulski’s creations are wardrobe staples that don’t cater to fashion victims but real connoisseurs of the finer things in life.
A few suede looks embroidered with studs happily stood out in an otherwise quiet line-up while some separates featuring scarf prints were nice nods to the heritage of the house.