Now that young women are in top spots at design houses, a baby boomlet has hit Paris. Both Stella McCartney and Chloé's Phoebe Philo are happily at home in London with their infants, Miller Willis and Maya Wigram, respectively, which leaves their teams to get on with their shows.
In McCartney's case, though, it seems she had the job done well before her visit last week to the delivery suite. Her fall collection was held together loosely with an eighties-sixties-Balenciaga theme, into which she rounded up her personal thoughts on volume, tweed, and the season's ubiquitous bubble skirt.
A big balloon-sleeve coat and a yoked wrap jacket opened the show, channeling both eighties Japan and Cristobal Balenciaga's monastic constructions. But McCartney's over-the-knee black leather boots grounded them in today. And the rest of the collection, too, read more as a young woman's take on current ideas than an earnest essay. Many of the pieces, like the oversize sweaters worn over leggings, were about translating the season into easy pieces.
One standout was a houndstooth tweed drop-waist coat, with a slight pouf at the hem. The look's early-sixties couture vibe extended into the evening pieces, with dresses that melded corseted bustier tops with turned-under hemlines, the best of which was done in a lovely shade of red. But the outfit that caused most comment among the exiting crowd was the one worn by Elise Crombez midway through the show. It was a boxy, elongated sweater pulled over a loose silk dress, executed in the dirty-pink shades Stella McCartney has established as her signature. It demonstrated a perfectly pitched, no-nonsense approach to dressing she would do well to build on in seasons to come.