Gaultier’s ready-to-wear finale reprises finest work

Daring artistry and inspirational motifs find favour with Parisian audiences

The Indian summer drawing out crowds in Paris chimed with the spring/summer collections for 2015 which continued in the French capital at the weekend.

At the Grand Rex cinema Jean Paul Gaultier turned his last ready-to-wear show into a mock beauty pageant, reprising many of his signature creations. But an unfortunate mishap meant model Coco Rocha, wearing the designer's famous cone corset dress, took a tumble on the stage in her silver stilettos.

There was less bawdy extravagance at Celine, where Phoebe Philo is developing the French luxury brand into one of the most influential worldwide. Held in the Tennis Club of Paris, the media scrums, gawping locals and blaring horns of gridlocked traffic outside were the usual signs of a significant fashion event.

Singular talent

This was a polished show, clean and serene, in which Philo softened masculine tailoring with artful feminine detailing like fringing and embellishment. Tunics had slashed necklines and jewelled peek-a-boo cutouts at the waist, trousers featured contrast patch pockets topstitched like jeans and trim black coats were closed with small golden bells. Colours went from solid black, white, navy and soft yellow to contrast floral prints for romantic summer dresses. Models strode out confidently in flat shoes and the entire collection had modern feminine power and appeal. Afterwards Brown Thomas womenswear director Shelly Corkery said that their orders for Celine have doubled in the past two seasons.


France's largest skate park was the venue for the Kenzo show, a breezy presentation of roomy denim shirts, long godet skirts, semi-sheer lace dresses and sporty shorts suits. Adding to the Californian vibe were shirt dresses and jumpsuits while kimono coats and bandeau tops referenced the brand's Japanese heritage.

Stylish collection

Kenzo, now 74 and no longer involved, made a surprise appearance the previous day at Haider Ackermann’s presentation in an old convent. Shown on pale faced models with buzz-cut hair, the Colombian born designer’s graceful collection of ruched zipped bomber jackets – the colour of plaster, iridescent green ruffles and skirts layered like petals – was he said, inspired by broken flowers.

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan is Irish Times Fashion Editor, a freelance feature writer and an author