The PFW Dispatch

Here’s what happened yesterday.


You know what happens when you don’t feed a baby? It dies. Maybe you’re pleasantly surprised by my phantom presence the last two days, I don’t know, but you know how I feel? Like I’m killing a baby. And I would never deliberately do that. But I digress, here we (yes, you and me) are at Paris Fashion Week and you know what? No?

Me neither. I know nothing. Hey! Lets talk fashion and fashion shows and if you want to talk about France I suppose we can do that, too.

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Who: Dries van Noten

Vibe: Native left-bank dweller, daughter to two painters, splits up time between the library and this obscure coffee shop on Rue St. Honore, which almost always promises the best brie sandwich in town.

Important notes: Three’s a trend, once again, and skirts over pants will happen. Also, it’s phenomenally admirable that Dries van Noten can weave the history of his entire collections together at the thread of a most diminutive string. What is so characteristically Dries: a novel take on menswear (not withstanding the obligatory brogue) will always be characteristically just that because of the often anticipated, always unexpected dash of a beads or textural organza or in this case, feather feather feathers.

Picture 1

Who: Lanvin. But was I there? Absolutely not.

Vibe: The ceaseless maintenance of a certain lightness and optimism in spite of the characteristically heavier fabrics of Alber Elbaz.

Important notes: There is something inexplicably fresh–no matter how many times we’ve seen it–about the pairing of a flat shoe with a full, thick, dramatic skirt. The same goes for an airy, rather flouncy dress cloaked in a large, heavy jacket but what struck me as most notable at Lanvin’s Fall show rested deeply in the jewelry choice (see: happy, help, cool) that seems to represent a sort of accepted irreverence and reminder that, hello, fashion is fun. I’m pretty sure that’s a necklace being layed down flipped and reversed creating a a self anointing crown apropriately paired with a desperado necklace exclaiming ‘help’.


Who: Rick Owens

Vibe: Clothes so good…it’s electric.

Important notes: She’s either been swept away by the sheer majesty of ivory toggles or if I can imaginably assume correctly, she’s jammed two fingers into a socket and this is what happened. Here’s the thing about Rick Owen: no matter what he does to his models’ hair one thing remains true in the plethora of black, white, and beige that he sends out every season: the utter wearability, luxury, and aspirational element (sometimes attainability) in his designs set him deeply apart. And similar to Dries, it seems there’s always something for everyone, even if she can see through her hair.


Who: Balmain

Vibe: David Bowie’s girls are back, again.

Important notes: Side parts, middle parts, all parts might be over. I will continue on this note when we talk about Margiela, but the very important note here rests in enormous earrings and even bigger shoulders. Balmain will not let the early 80’s die, and you know what? Good for him. Époque preservation by way of fashion should always be commended.

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  • lavieenliz

    I love the chandelier earrings

  • Lizzy

    Love it!

    Regards Lizzy

  • I’m a DIE hard Lanvin and Alber fan, but this collection was not good. It felt very morning after and sloppy, none of it in a good way :((
    Dries was good but not to the level I wish all Dries was- unattainable. Not a fan of stray feathers, my mouth is itching at the thought.
    Balmain took a season off and let Donatella fill in!

  • Jennifer
  • I love your description of the Balmain show!

  • monkeyshines
  • Dries is one of my perennial favorites. His discipline and cerebralness (er, cerebrality?) always feel so organic. And playful. BTW, is this coffee shop w/ the out-of-this-world brie sandwich a real place? Fill us in…!

  • I was beginning to think you LOST Lydia in airport security, so happy that’s not the case!

    p.s. I still miss Christopher Decarnin/hate Oliver

  • Wow, love all the jewelry, a definite 80’s vibe going on there. Yes I too think that is a necklace as a crown, what a great idea! I have some great 80’s pieces on my site.

  • Big earrings~ must do it! 🙂 As for Dries Van Noten, I loved his spring collection so so so much that he can’t top it just yet. 😛

    • francesca

      I know what you mean about DVN’s last collection. It was so perfect that anything in comparison is but, well, a comparison.

  • Busola Coutts

    Rick Owens is amazing. Love!

  • Katherine

    Personally, I LOVE Dries’ use of traditionally menswear pieces with a flair of femininity. This is one of my favorite trends this season. I was a little unsure about how to incorporate elements of this into my personal style, but the StyleUp has been a HUGE help with this! I really recommend it.

  • My take on Dries this season:

    I see Irene Hiemstra- the first look out-, and think that she is wearing an outfit that she is really enjoying the shit out of. Perhaps she doesn’t want to take it off backstage. What comfortable shoes! What a roomy coat! What a warm nape! What loose legs!

    The looks strike me as a successful matching of gendered features, without the striking effect that an androgynous aesthetic can at times contribute to the wearer.

    Most of the cuts are a combination of early 20th and 21st century comforts: loose shoulders, loose waist, trim ankles. The eye moves past the waist, past the hips, leaving much of the attention at the knee and shin.

    Thoroughly enjoyed.

  • ImportKT

    you are the answer to my prayers…fashionista not so much, but boy oh boy does jewelry make me drop panties. so i hella agree about necklaces masquerading as headpieces and i lay down my sword for that help necklace. mostly cause I think you should wear words too.

  • Loved Rick Owens, how the hair and clothes moved on the models as they walked down the runway was just so BAM!

  • Cat

    Anybody else notice the weird wire contraption hooking over her ear?!?! Those must be some heavy ass earrings.

    I am hypnotized by the Lanvin beauty look. Almost couldn’t figure out why, then it hit me: it is quite unusual that they didn’t use black liner on the waterline with such a dark shadow… it looks good!!!

  • Tory

    Dries killed it, as did Lanvin but for Balmain I preferred the pre-fall collection.

  • ah to be french. what i’m taking away from this is that for the fille de a/w 2013 chandeliers are the new earrings, head parties are the new neck parties, ivory is in so by default elephants are out, and a delicate combination of electricity and gel are the hair’s best friends.


  • i love Dries van Noten!

  • natalie

    dang that hair is crazy


  • fashion explorer

    I am a big fan of Balmain and Lanvin. Not that much of Dries van Noten, nor Rick Owens but I may change my mind..Leandra, I like your style and your irreverent tone, it’s so refreshing:-).. I have dicovered lately your blog, videos,…. I am French and would very much like to have your take on Carven and Guillaume Henry. Have you been to his show?. and will you go and see Acne today and Valentino show nextTuesday? would be nice to see you there.

  • Greer Clarke

    That intro sounded like an Ellen show opening monologue

  • Tania
  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni

    Love the balmain collection!!

  • Aasha

    Love the Girls/Missy Elliot reference!

  • francesca

    DVN gives me chills. I’m still reeling from last season’s collection. And Lanvin was so surprising this season: Where I expected silk cocktail dresses the color of mature fruit, he gave us grit.

  • Ooh – there’s a bit of Man Repelling going on in France this season – but maybe French chicks don’t need to try – Lanvin’s always a great show – I like the smokey eye. What is going on with the hair at Rick Owens? As hilarious as it is to watch I feel sorry for the models – how does ones hair recover after you do this to it?

  • Your way of writing is so brilliant and witty… one day, when I grow up, I will write like you. Until then, awesome post, thanks for the great update!

    Rena xoxo

  • Marti

    2 days felt like a week.. Feed the baby! X

  • Labellaluxe Boutique

    Love the coat and boats!