Blame it on the hot, humid weather here, but the international designers showing their wares in and around the Louvre seem to be in the mood for spring specifically bright colors and lots of floral prints. Even Nicolas Ghesquiere, the edgy trend leader of fashion right now, said he was thinking of something softer and more romantic this season after his tough street chic collection for fall. He has a lot to work with in the Balenciaga archives, so it makes sense that he would revisit them and come up with some pretty fabulous floral printed radzimir fabric. Add to that a little remixing in the computer, and the house's famous couture florals got a modern edge. Ghesquiere also shot the 50s-style fabrics up with latex to make them puffy and stiff. The result was a whole group of armor-like corseted tops and skirts in bright, pop-art prints.
Junya Watanabe, a protégée of Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo, also seemed to be in a happy mood, flooding his runway with bright tailored silk jackets and swingy draped dresses. His finale of Liberty print dresses had a sweetness to it that made last season's heavy leather Perfecto jackets and military camouflage seem like a long-ago rainy day.
The sweetness at Valentino Garavani's last ready-to-wear show before he finally retires in January definitely had a tinge of sadness to it. The Roman designer, who for spring showed lots of young, bright pastel dresses with fluttery millefeuille details, said that despite his imminent departure after a 45-year career, he was in a good mood. "I wanted to make this collection happy," he said to a scrum of reporters and movie cameras crowding in backstage after a standing ovation. "I want you to be happy and I want you to never forget Valentino."
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