Eighty-three shows on the calendar, talent coming in from over 20 countries and jet-setting celebrities flocking into the French capital can only mean one thing: It's time for Paris Fashion Week and here is the highlights:
DIOR'S SIXTIES GIRL POWER
Delving into the Dior archives, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri came back armed with photos of sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle - one of the few successful female artists in the male-dominated 1960s' art world and a muse for then-Dior designer Marc Bohan.
The inspiration of this artistic trailblazer spawned Tuesday's Dior collection at Paris Fashion Week: the Sixties fused with the spirit of women's lib.
Boho denim flares, lace-up square heel boots, Breton stripes and knee-high stockings accompanied berets and long fine scarves tied with a knot. These mixed with '60s optical art black-and-white checks that were used effectively in kinetic uber-mini coat dresses.
There were indeed some beautiful moments.
Saint Phalle's colorful sculptures were evoked in a series of color-blocked, architectural "scuba" looks in cobalt blue, black, white and yellow - shapes tight around the body in the '60s style. Still, it was a mixed bag at Dior, with some overly busy silhouettes - victims perhaps of Chiuri's overly-busy archive references. Ensembles with multiple layers, sheer sections on skirts, contrasting fabrics and fastidious detailing on appliques were sometimes a little distracting.
SAINT LAURENT'S EIFFEL TOWER VIEW
A smoke machine spewed out cloudy plumes across the gargantuan metal platform above the Trocadero gardens, created by Saint Laurent for its spring-summer collection. As the Eiffel Tower glimmered in the background imposingly, and hypnotic music boomed, models filed by in revealing mini-dresses, shaggy boots and lashings of dark sparkle.
The '80s was in the air.
Loose silhouettes, tassel detailing and cuffed boots fused with high ruffle necks and capes in shimmering blacks and flashes of purple, pink and blue. There was a distinct whiff of the TV series "Dallas" in some looks that incorporated big brown belts, black lacing, boots that evoked chaps, and black waistcoat-shaped tops. At times, they were a little heavy-handed.
But the creative climax came toward the end of the exhaustive 90-piece show - when Vaccarello left behind the '80s exploration and went abstract to explore shapes with an upward movement.
The piece de resistance: A skintight sheer black lace mini-dress with a giant black ruffled disc that wrapped around the model's waist artfully like an angry cloud.
It was an extravaganza in pastel - ruched, gathered and bound.
The fashion-forward house of Tokyo designer Kunihiko Morinaga has built up a huge fan base in Japan for its intellectual designs and original use of techno-fabrics. This was on full display Tuesday as Morinaga used strapping, in tonal or contrasting colors, to bind loose silhouettes to the models' body.
It began with the baroque - billowing sleeves and high collars on silken fabric dresses in exaggerated proportions - and the occasional jumpsuit. They were, of course, paired with on-trend white banded sneakers.
At times, crisscross strapping evoked an almost kinky, exo-skeleton restraining the body- such as in a peach, knee-length dress with a gray lattice exterior.
The show was highly original.
PINK TREND ALERT
The color pink has - so far - been heralded as the color of the season.
But fashion editors generally agree that Paris Fashion Week has the ultimate say in what going to be a trend, so all eyes are on the French capital's runway collections to see if this continues.
On the first day of shows in Paris, pink made a moderate splash.
A pink pastel ruched gown opened the collection for Anrealage with gowns that continued in pastel shades with a dash of fuchsia.
And one of Dior's nicest looks was a floor-length baby pink sheer silk gown tied at the waist with a pink bow.