Paris Fashion Week | The new establishment


It’s been a blisteringly busy Paris fashion week here at the BoF, but we’ve been taking everything in and can finally share some of our views on all the action — and the business implications. This season, we were most interested in Balenciaga and Givenchy — the new Paris establishment — and the series of brand revivalists – including Stuart Vevers at Loewe, Estaban Cortazar at Ungaro and Alessandra Facchinetti at Valentino. Today, the new establishment. Tomorrow, the brand revivalists.

Balenciaga_aw_2008After what was widely considered a tour-de-force from Nicolas Ghesquiere  last season, the anticipation was building for a Balenciaga for A/W 2008. He did not disappoint, picking up on last season’s modern, sculpted silhouette (which, incidentally has also popped up in other collections this season from Marchesa to Bruno Pieters) and producing a more wearable, but still distinctive, collection. Ghesquiere is solidifying his place as the leader of the new Paris establishment.

Perhaps one reason why Ghesquiere is beginning to focus on gradually channeling his outstanding ideas in a more commercial direction (and we mean that in the best sense) is because he is reported to have about a 10% stake in the business. It’s very smart for designers to have their interests aligned with the brand owners. Everybody wins.

Givenchy_aw_2008 Then last night, Riccardo Tisci wowed the 900 people who assembled at Le Carreau du Temple with a genius collection for Givenchy. A new square runway format allowed almost everyone to take in the slick tailoring with ruffles and rouching up close. You could almost reach out and touch Tisci’s new signature for Givenchy.

He also allowed the Givenchy girl to add a bit of a muted colour palette to her wardrobe and there were no signs of a polkadot or Swiss-cheese fabric in sight, though some of the later looks were perhaps a bit heavy on the embellishment.

On our way out, we saw Carine Roitfeld racing towards the backstage area, with a huge smile on her face. The designer she has been supporting since his debut at Givenchy had proven her instincts correct. But while Tisci can be credited with the successful revival of Givenchy, credit must also go to a brand with a great heritage and CEO who meshes very well with the designer.

This powerful troika should have the cash registers at Givenchy’s new Paris store on the rue du Faubourg St Honore ringing like the one-armed bandits in Las Vegas. At tonight’s store opening, a super-chic elegant crowd, sporting Givenchy looks and those oh-so-hot Givenchy bags, feted the designer once again in the understated, minimalist space that lets the clothes, shoes and bags do all the talking.


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  1. I love that those these designers- Ghesquiere and Tisci- have learned to balance creativity with commerciality. I think Ghesquiere always knew how. It’s a newer skill for Tisci, but if you look back at his learning curve to date it’s straight up over the course of only a few years.

    Anjo from Stanford, CA, United States
  2. Super Slick. Super Chic. But, are the “Barbie Boys” really growing up? Unfortunately, American women don’t dress like this anymore. Too active. This ain’t real. Looks plastic. Miuccia Prada is the leader this season hands down. Approachable. Real. Oh yes, a woman designed it. That’s the difference. That’s the ticket. John Galliano, he leaves us sheer. Sheer Genius. Fashion. In your face. Pure artistry. This is a total accessory winner. “Money In The Bag” collection. Raf Simons at Jil Sander, trying to be the “American Dream”. Like we always say….there must of been a very good reason why Prada kicked Jil Sander to the curb. Simon’s days are numbered. Nothing sticks here. No clothes or accessories. There is only room for one Calvin Klein. Poor business management. All the rest in Paris…are just “Wandering Stars”.

    artefact212 from Gloversville, NY, United States