1. The way you hold stuff is now a fashion consideration
Vanessa Bruno show, A/W14, Paris fashion week
Shearling pockets by Vanessa Bruno. Photograph: Pixelformula/Sipa/Rex Features
If, in the past few seasons, we have seen bags scrunched, pinched and cuddled on the catwalk, Paris took the body language trend to the next level. Throwing your coat over one arm nonchalantly is now fashionable, thanks to Dior, while bags were nestled into hips at Céline and Maison Martin Margiela. The award for best use of body-part-as-accessory goes to Vanessa Bruno, though. Her shearling pockets on straps made excellent use of shoulders and created a whole new fashion item in the process.
2. It’s not just about the red carpet this week
Acne Paris fashion week
Acne adopted the shaggy carpet. Photograph: Zeppelin Photo/Retna/Photoshot
So the Oscars and that whole red-carpet thing happened on Sunday. Meanwhile, in Paris, designers had their own carpets to get excited about. Acne’s were shaggy and dotted on the catwalk – the collection was partly inspired by 1960s interiors. The brand was clearly very proud of it and assigned a gentleman with a comb to keep it looking tip-top. Givenchy’s champagne-coloured carpet was no less groomed; even Kanye West was careful to keep his feet away from its pristine pile. Céline, of course, threw a curve ball into the carpet trend: parquet flooring formed the catwalk at the Sunday show.
3. Supermodels are back on the catwalk
Gisele for Balenciaga Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015
Supermodels return: Gisele Bundchen closed the Balenciaga show. Photograph: Victor Virgile/Getty Images
With Canadian super Daria Werbowy making a rare appearance on the Balenciaga catwalk last season, designer Alexander Wang gave himself a hard act to follow. He managed it by, presumably, paying Gisele a lot of money to close his show. This cameo by the world’s most successful model started a trend for catwalk comebacks. Gemma Ward appeared at Chloé and Givenchy was star-studded. The label featured Stella Tennant, Karen Elson and Frankie Rayder, as well as debutantes including Kendall Jenner, who could learn a thing or two.
4. Asian celebrities are a major part of the front row
Model Bonnie Chen, Chloe, Paris Fashion Week 14
Model Bonnie Chen (left) sits next to Chloe CEO Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye on the frow. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
The usual flashbulbs that denote a celebrity were often met with blank faces in the UK press section this season. These days, brands are courting the Asian market, and it shows. Models Bonnie Chen and Tao – Chinese and Japanese respectively – were front row at Chloé, with Chen strategically photographed next to the chief executive, Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye. Even Phoebe Philo – who doesn’t play the front-row game – is making these connections. She was seen greeting the Chinese actor Faye Wong after the Céline show.
5. Models can’t dance
Stella McCartney at Paris fashion week 2014
Gangly but brave: Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls dance down the Stella McCartney dancing down the catwalk. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/REUTERS
Stella McCartney’s finale featured Joan Smalls and Cara Delevingne dancing down the catwalk to the 1989 Soul II Soul classic Keep On Moving. It was a fashion moment, sure, but with lots of long limbs flying everywhere, the overall impression was a little gangly. Still, having the guts to do this at 10am in a room containing Anna Wintour, Rihanna and at least 200 photographers has to be applauded.
6. Make your knitwear ribbed next season
Celine show, A/W 2014 Paris Fashion Week
Ribbed tunics with matching flares at Céline. Photograph: Rex
Basically, don’t wear a jumper next winter unless it’s ribbed. Chunky ribbed wool – the kind usually found on an army sweater with patches on the shoulders – was everywhere in Paris, though it usually came with a bit of a twist. Céline’s was for the brave – ribbed tunics were paired with matching ribbed flares – while Acne’s jumpers looked cosy with ultra-long sleeves. Japanese label Sacai mixed ribbed knits with a load of other stuff – chiffon, scarf prints, quilting and devore – giving the rest of us licence to do the same.
7. Raf Simons must have had a preview of the Tate Modern’s Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition
Raf Simons for Dior
Raf Simons for Dior: colours to make the heart sing. Photograph: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images
Simons’s lovely Dior show was a highlight of the week – partly due to colours that made one’s heart sing. A series of layered dresses with two contrasting hues recalled the palette of Matisse, and the vast 1952 collage The Snail in particular. Fuschia, green, pumpkin orange and a bright blue were all used. To brush up on what shades you should be wearing, visit the Tate Modern’s exhibition next month. We’re pretty sure Simons already has.
8. The practical bag is back
Chanel, Paris fashion week a/w14
Bag it: Chanel’s wired shopping baskets. Photograph: Francois Durand/Getty Images
Seriously cheering news from the Paris front line is that the jewel-box minaudière evening bag (subtext: „my driver’s outside”) and the sleek minimalist day clutch („I am chic and streamlined in every possible way”) are well and truly over. The most haute houses embraced the practical side of the handbag this week. At Chanel’s supermodel-filled supermarket, Stella Tennant carried a wire shopping trolley decorated with strands of black glittered tweed, while the pensioner’s-favourite wheeled shopping trolley had a Karl makeover in 2.55-style quilted leather. Lanvin gave the power-walk-to-work rucksack a luxe makeover in crocodile. Meanwhile, Balenciaga’s girls carried not one but three bags, a look that us norms have been trailblazing for years. (Flat shoes, iPad, newspapers, gym kit, chargers, letters to post, drycleaning to drop off, am I right?)
9. Do not, repeat, do not invest in the Lego-colour trend
Dries Van Noten, a/w14, Paris Fashion Week
Flashes of metallic: Dries Van Noten paired navy with silver. Photograph: Pixelformula/Sipa/Rex
Every season there is a catwalk trend that the assembled audience of fashionables greet with enthusiasm – and then entirely ignore when it comes to buying and wearing clothes six months later. This spring, primary colours are that trend. The Lego movie may be a hit, but the trend for wearing traffic-light shades has stalled. The front row are wearing pastels (Rihanna was in lilac at Chanel) or neutrals (Kate Moss and co at Saint Laurent were head-to-toe black). On the catwalk, colour combinations are subtle with flashes of dulled metallics: navy with copper or silver at Dries Van Noten, and camel with bronze at Céline. Our advice: go ahead and indulge if primary colours float your spring boat – but blow the rent money at your peril, because investment dressing this is not.
10. Black tights are chic again
Saint Laurent show Paris Fashion Week a/w14
Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent has done a brilliantly helpful thing by bringing back black tights. Photograph: Pixelformula/Sipa/Rex
Even within the upper echelons of the fashion industry, Hedi Slimane has a reputation for being terrifyingly too-cool-for-school. It doesn’t get more high-taste, more exclusive, more ruthlessly ultra-chic than Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent. In other words, this is the last designer you would predict would do something brilliantly helpful such as bring back black opaque tights. But that’s what he did with his collection on Monday night, in which almost every look featured knee-high boots (silver leather or brown suede, perhaps) with a very short dress or skirt (sometimes sparkly) under a luxe cape or a fur-trimmed parka. No longer must we choose between goose pimples and being cast into sartorial Siberia: if Hedi says black tights are cool, no one can argue. Normcore just got haute.