I feel like I’m being really conservative this fashion Month but I’m still reeling from those bubble dresses Anthony Vaccarello sent down the Saint Laurent runway. It’s like I was growing increasingly allergic to the more ridiculous end of the fashion spectrum and I’ve been tipped over the edge.
Now every time someone sends out a ridiculous (ie totally unwearable silhouette), a must-have that’s “so witty” but makes you look like a prize idiot, or a top/dress with too many flashes of nipple, I just run for cover.
Please stop! Just give us clothes we can wear. No more bubble dresses. No more fashion statements that make us look like overweight ostriches. Leave that for Graduate Fashion Week where it belongs. Designers on multimillion euro contracts should know better.
Which brings me to Isabel Marant. She knows how to make clothes that will actually be worn season after season. And while SS18 wasn’t the greatest collection ever made, it wasn’t half bad either.
It was her first menswear collection too (ok, fewer than 10 looks out of almost 50 may not actually be a collection but, according to reports, she only came up with the idea in the past couple of weeks).
Not that she’s gone all suits and ties. These ‘menswear’ pieces could easily work for her many female customers – think slouchy knits, track pants, easy jackets, vests, gilets with a 70s edge.
For women, she explored more varied themes but it was all anchored by her usual French girl style with an injection Cali-cool via swim pieces and beach slide.
She flirted with many of the season’s key themes, and with Kaia Gerber opening the show and Gigi Hadid closing it, she was about as on-trend on the model front as it was possible to get.
Clive James made a documentary about Paris Fashion Week back in the 80s and at one point when he runs into Jerry Hall for the umpteenth time he asks her how she feels after having walked so many runways. “Rich,” she replies. Gerber and Hadid must be feeling mega-rich because they’ve rarely been off the fashion stage for the past four weeks.
But I digress. Getting back to Marant, her main concession to current trends was the statement sleeves that also fed into the season’s love of wide shoulders.
But the panelled sports separates, the shorts, the elaborately frilled blouses, and the mini skirts and dresses also rode the current wave, all in Marant’s own style.
There was also a big feel for shine. That came as metallic silvers, teals and reds, glossy leathers, and some shimmering floral tops and outerwear pieces that acted as a strong contrasts to the quilted cottons they were paired with.
Basically, it was a collection full of commercial pieces that may not rock the fashion world to its foundations, but customers will love it. That beats bubble dresses any day of the week.