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These are the things that immediately jumped out at me. I am including style and design oriented quotes - some more famous than others - which perfectly illustrate each point. Because quite frankly, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Then came Milan, and what is always the most highly anticipated show of the season, and often times, THE defining moment. Miuccia Prada sent out a veritable feast for the eyes, that only she could somehow pull off (it made me wonder how H&M, Zara, Bebe, etc., would even try to copy this one LOL). 1It had it all (and all at the same time): bold color mixes, art inspiration, poster like faces emblazoned on almost every surface, collaged furs embellished with crystals and pailletes, athletic leg warmers, sports inspired rubber high heels, etc. Fast forward to the next to the last day of showings in Paris. Vogue.com put the nail on the head when they captioned Valentino's couture like collection (it was an homage to the opera and an exercise in decorative exotica): "Farewell to Minimalism". 2
When Marc Jacobs put the finishing touches on Paris Fashion Week, he was not just bidding adieu to the City of Lights but to Louis Vuitton (it's his last collection for the house). As in New York, with his eponymous line, he showed a broodingly dark collection that was embellished and decorated to a fare thee well (it was an homage to the "showgirl in all of us" complete with towering feather headpieces). He specifically endorsed the decorative jacket, along with the use of transparency, and showed almost everything with baggy boyfriend jeans in dark or washed denim, and flat boots, so the effect was grounded and streetwise, rather than precious.
It was hard not to notice that much of what had been presented on the runways (especially in that last leg in Paris), had an unmistakably exotic, global, ethnic, tribal undercurrent, owing to the employment of fringes, feathers, tassels, passementerie, pom poms, embellishments, and embroidery, and tribal inspired colors and patterns. At Givenchy, 3 Riccardo Tisci fused elements of Japanese, Indian, and African dress. At Alexander McQueen, 4 Sarah Burton infused a warrior princess theme within the collection. The gypsy DNA is always in Dries Van Noten's soul, so his embrace of this look is hardly surprising. And at Celine, it was Phoebe Philo's boldest, most colorful, most eccentrically decorated collection to date. 5( At the same time, there was a corresponding emphasis on highly textural surface interest, handwork, handmade, and the artisanal: a celebration of the rough, the raw, and the imperfect via hanging threads, frayed edges, etc. (Karl Lagerfeld re colored, reconstructed, and de constructed Chanel's signature tweeds to good effect). 6