Last week, editors, designers, models and photographers gathered in Paris for the final instalment of Autumn/Winter 2013 fashion month. After a busy few weeks in New York, London and Milan, the fashion audience eagerly awaited the shows at Paris, which are known for being the most intricate, elegant and luxurious shows of the month. Paris Fashion Week is home to established design houses which originate from the city such as Christian Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as being a welcome host to British talent in the form of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney. Our buying team has just returned from their hunt for new brands around London, Paris, Milan and New York, so we’ve been quizzing them on what we can look forward to for the new AW13 collections; keep an eye on the JulesB website and sign up for updates so you’ll be the first to know when they arrive. However, don’t forget all our new SS13 stock is still arriving in store and online, look no further than JulesB Online for all your new season essentials.
Isabel Marant is the Queen of the relaxed, pared down, Parisian-with-a-Bohemian-edge look we all want. Her previous collections have always involved at least five pieces which always require a waitlist. Remember the wedge sneakers which sold out everywhere and had everyone hanging for months on the waitlist? That’s the power of Isabel Marant. Effortlessly elegant with her perfect “je-ne-sais-quoi” Parisian charm, the Isabel Marant design aesthetic is the epitome of Paris fashion. This collection was no exception to the Marant appeal, despite the slightly different aesthetic. Gone were the bohemian influences and varied colour palettes of Spring, the AW13 Marant woman is now wearing shadowed layers in shades of grey and navy, with highlights of white and ivory. A beautiful array of draping, layering and luxe fabrics set the relaxed tone of the collection perfectly, there’s certainly a number of pieces we’d be willing to join a waitlist for! We’re also lucky enough to reveal that we will become a stockist of the Isabel Marant Etoile line for AW13. Sign up for updates with JulesB to be the first to know when it arrives.
Vivienne Westwood Gold Label
As expected from Dame Viv, the Gold Label show was a fabulous clash of eccentricity and creativity. A combination of fashion, art and British quirky culture, the Gold Label show was thoroughly Vivienne Westwood. The makeup was just as daring as it was in London, this time strong in a green and blue colour palette, hinting at a nature theme. The models were pale, with big coloured eyes and lips, reminiscent of a sickly garden nymph. The AW13 collection showed a mix of influences, from contemporary silhouettes to nostalgic Victorian era Britain. The sharp shoulders and decadent metallics also showed a hint of 80s power dressing, heralding the return of feminine glamour. We love the normality of oddities we’ve come to expect from Vivienne Westwood, while she can be criticised for showing what appears to be a mish-mash of prints, influences and silhouettes, she can never be criticised for being boring, and that really is what fashion is all about. In an industry where trends are changing before the last look has left the catwalk, Vivienne Westwood continues to champion British design and individuality worldwide. You can shop the Vivienne Westwood Red Label and Anglomania collections online and in store now.
The venue was Le Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld’s usual preference. The theme appeared to be the globalisation of Chanel, which was illustrated by an enormous darkened globe which rotated in the centre of the presentation room, covered in Chanel Logo Flags, each marking the presence of a Chanel store around the world. While the flags and lights effectively displayed the global presence of Chanel, the land in between showed that Karl still has places to conquer and this is the collection which will take the brand to the next level. The globe spilled out across the floor, creating a worldly presence for the models to stalk across. Before the show had even begun, Karl Lagerfeld addressed the audience from under the globe and said “I’ve got my feet on the ground, but this collection is up-to-earth, not down-to-earth.” The fashion elite then eagerly waited to see what the up-to-earth collection would look like. Of course, Karl did not disappoint. The AW13 Chanel collection may have been dark, but it was romantic, it combined the beautiful aesthetics of Coco Chanel while twisting in modern updates. A billowing romantic coat nodded to Coco while the leather waders screamed Karl. The classic boucle tweeds were reminiscent of twinsets worn by Coco herself, but the metallic thread which ran through the fabric was thoroughly Karl. The monochrome colour palette provided the base for the collection, accented with colour, as Karl himself said “it’s hard to run around in pink all day.” The combination of the classic and the modern is what makes each Chanel collection so majestic, its refusal to follow trends makes Chanel unique and unpredictable. The AW13 collection was full of little details too, the fur helmet-hats which were based on Anna Wintour’s iconic bob, the drop waist pleats, the variety of fabrics and prints. The models hair was nonchalantly tucked into jackets which gave a luxe relaxed feel to the look, the makeup glimmered frostily to set off the metallic details. Karl has once again out done himself, a fabulously wearable collection which will no doubt be coveted worldwide in the globalisation of Chanel.
Presented in the gilded interior of the Opera Comique, the Alexander McQueen AW13 presentation was the most exclusive of fashion week. With just fifty guests in each of the three sittings, Sarah Burton was inspired by ecclesiastical elegance and opulence reminiscent of cardinal’s robes and communion purity. The collection comprised ten pieces, presented in pairs. The first pair of models were dressed in layers of pure white, with their waists cinched in by solid silver belts. The models’ heads were encased in gilded perfection; criss-cross masks which were studded with pearls obscured their faces. As the models paraded through the doorways, it became apparent the level of almost obsessive detail which had been applied to each look. Miniature pearls adorned every centimetre of the fabric, ruffles were perfectly placed and finished, and the movement of the finished product was perfect. The third and fourth looks were matched yet again, with the models wearing black studded with pearls, again with silver waist belts. The fishnet tights were not fishnet tights as you might know them, each intersection was ornamented with yet more pearls, as was each knuckle on the models hands. Tudor style ruffs were evident in each look too, adding to the majesty drama of the collection. The fifth and sixth looks added even more theatricality to the presentation; more pearls with more structure, the collection took a further twist here, with pearls softening the corsetry and silhouettes. Then out came the Virgin Queen, swathed in layers of white purity and gold embellishment, still wearing a mask but looking heavenly and regal. The design bore an uncanny resemblance to the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen herself), hinting again at a time period which influenced Sarah Burton. The design was nothing short of spectacular, the craftsmanship was flawless, the details pristine. The show closed in a flurry of feathers and pearl embellished organza lace, a creation which was very vaguely wearable, even if it were only for one very extravagant event. We can’t offer you the couture creations from Sarah Burton’s artistic imagination, but we can offer you the diffusion line from Alexander McQueen: McQ. We have the SS13 collection in store and online now.
This was 29-year-old Alexander Wang’s debut collection for the house of Balenciaga. He had a hard act to follow; the previous creative direction came from Nicolas Ghesquiere, an incredibly talented designer. The brand was originally founded by the late Cristobel Balenciaga; the Spaniard is heralded as one of the most gifted couturiers of all time. So needless to say, Wang could easily have felt out of his depth. Known for his downtown New York, laidback sportswear luxe, critics speculated that the Wang aesthetic would not match the luxurious Balenciaga image. However, when the AW13 collection was shown in Paris this week, the critics were silenced. Wang had grown up and produced a stunning collection of minimalistic silhouettes and powerful tailoring. The aesthetic was controlled, chic and elegant, showing a new side to Wang which we have not previously seen. At the JulesB office we’re coveting the perfect little silver metal bows, which sat perfectly atop dresses and skirts to accent the silhouettes, as well as on the backs of bandeaus under dresses and on jackets as brooches. Trousers were cut with high waists, tops and dresses were cut with V necklines, skirts were finished with a new shape of peplum and silhouettes were kept to a minimal, modern shape. All in all, the insiders of the fashion world were unanimous in their opinions, a stunning debut collection from Alexander Wang. You can shop the luxe T-Shirt brand T by Alexander Wang at JulesB now.