1. It’s not the same in a different colour
Alber Elbaz is one of the cleverest designers in fashion, though he wears it lightly. His clothes may look elegantly creased or frayed, but the emphasis is on elegance – and ease. His spring/summer 2016 blockbuster was one of his strongest shows, but it’s Manifeste, his new book, that has us thinking. It isn’t one of those glossy coffee-table tomes, but a little book of Elbaz wisdoms. The subbing’s not faultless but, since he’s wise, it’s essential browsing for all would-be fashion philosophers.
Ever wondered, for instance, why some clothes have to cost so darn much? Here’s Elbaz on the subject: “I will take a piece, drape it in red and it’s one thing. Then I say, let’s do it in blue, but in blue it doesn’t work. I would have to make it longer, add more pleats on the side and move it from the waist maybe a bit higher. When I use a non-colour, I would have to bring in volume. We then have two skirts when I thought we had one. I prefer evolution, things move gradually.” A fascinating insight into the design process of a thinker.
photo: short formal dresses
2. The turned-up sleeve may have had its day
For longer than The Telegraph’s fashion team cares to recall, an artfully turned-up shirt sleeve has indicated the kind of low-key stylishness to which many women nowadays aspire. You may not have been able to afford £3,000 for a Céline coat, but a mastery of cuff etiquette – folded not rolled, and never quite as far up as the elbow, ideally with one cuff dangling slightly – signalled you were in Phoebe Philo’s gang. Shock horror, then, because next season, sleeves are as long as Rapunzel’s hair.
Pictorially, a narrow sleeve that reaches past the finger tips is, as the Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton points out, “very elegant”. Whilst it makes for a lovely fashion show, surely it’s a styling gimmick not to be taken literally (although given the enthusiasm with which some street style stars embrace all catwalk edicts, it could go mainstream). If you are Abu Hamza, trailing sleeves will doubtless prove nifty. For everyone else, we have one word: soup.
4. Kim Kardashian's beauty regime may have had its day, too
Every beauty tip Kim has ever shared with the world (contouring, foundation all over, triple-lined eyes) was undermined in Paris this week. Models of the moment Julia Cumming, Grace Hartzel, Lida Fox and Lili Sumner wear zero, or deliberately bodged, make-up and the kind of hair that looks as though they took a razor or a chain-saw to the roots. In the feverish mind of the Cool Designer, at least, pretty is over.
5. What can you read into a long leather watch strap? Everything
According to Paul Deneve, vice president of special projects at Apple, the Apple Watch is now the most sold watch in the world – although he wouldn’t reveal numbers. Apple’s collaboration with Hermès, which went on sale in selected stores on Monday, certainly looks set to be a fashion hit.
Although it comprises the same technology and almost the same design as the watch that launched in April, it has two crucial differences: owners can download one of several Hermès watch faces from its revered Cape Cod range, and opt for a version of the famous double length watchstrap that Martin Margiela designed in 1998 when he was fashion director at Hermès. At around £800, it costs £300 more than the classic Apple Watch but less than a steel Hermès Cape Cod, the small size of which will set you back £1,750. A bargain. Yet reassuringly expensive.
6. A Chinese restaurant is the perfect show venue
Vetements (French for clothes) is also the perfect name for a fashion label. In fact Vetements has everything going for it. A collective of five anonymous designers, principally helmed by Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian who cut his teeth at Louis Vuitton, Vetements has a taste for offbeat show locations and clothes that look intriguingly jolie-laide on the catwalk but are proving mightily popular on the front row. Since these clothes weren’t gifted by the house, that’s a sign that their oversized cotton shirts and pretty sprigged dresses with cotton jersey patchwork are hitting some kind of spot. No wonder they’re rumoured to be up for the Balenciaga job in the light of Alexander Wang’s departure.
7. Striking a pose could be good for your health
At a dinner to celebrate Roksanda’s tenth anniversary in business, Kanye West, an indefatigable presence at Paris Fashion Week, let it be known that he has a new media strategy. Instead of staring straight to camera, he will only be photographed “in natural pose” – i.e. when engaged in animated conversation with his besties. Since “animated” conversation tends to produce open mouths and slack jaws, most of those present at the dinner resisted the usual impulse to snap his picture and post it on Instagram, focusing instead on the flower arrangements (“Thank God – they cost a fortune,” said Roksanda) and the striking sculptural bangles, part of her new jewellery collection that were the party favours. What Kanye lost in social media hits, Rosksanda gained.
Meanwhile, Eva Chen, the former editor of Lucky Magazine, told me the #evachenpose that has become such a phenomenon on Instagram and entails Chen sitting in the back of a New York cab taking perfect pictures of her immaculately shod feet next to a tasty handbag and an apple, has been good for her abs. “It’s actually quite hard holding that position,” she says. It has also been good for her career. While Lucky Magazine has closed, Chen, who has 464,000 Instagram followers, is now head of fashion partnerships at… Instagram.
8. Glamour doesn’t always end in bunions
Edgardo Osorio, the Colombia-born designer whose personal style resembles that of Terry- Thomas, has a tender regard for women’s feet not often seen in those who make fancy high heels. Perhaps that’s why he has met with nothing but success since founding his made-in-Florence shoe line Aquazzura four years ago. That’s not to say you can run a marathon in them – there are still five-inch heels and pointy toes to negotiate – but they’re comfortable enough to get you to his new Mayfair store on Albemarle Street. Especially as he’s now designing round-toed flats. In the hotel suite where he showed his new collection in Paris, we fell in love with these.
read more: white formal dresses