Balmain, Lanvin, Rick Owens and Carven spring summer 2016 fashion show


While Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and Rick Owens delivered collections that were more like lavish shows, Olivier Rousteing, Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud at Carven sharpened their singular approach.

On this third day of Paris fashion week, the Grand Gallery of the école des Beaux-Arts welcomed a new artist, Alber Elbaz, creative director of the House of Lanvin for fifteen years. The oeuvre he presented there was a remarkable demonstration of his talent as a colourist. First came black and white, on trousers suits and cocktail attire, then touches of grey, camel and caramel, reminding us of the Moroccan desert, and finally a veritable fireworks display of red, blue, green and yellow, blended with typical dexterity. This flamboyant art of colour is perfect for his baroque looks that drew inspiration from antiquity through to the roaring twenties. 

At Rick Owens the models started out alone but quickly doubled up and were soon literally on top of one another. Once again the designer fused runway show with performance for the pleasure of his enraptured audience. The spectator, confronted with these joined forms discovered the garment in a brand new light: dresses adorned with human plastrons, outfits strapped with Siamese braces, materials laméd and laminated. 

For Balmain, Olivier Rousteing delivered a dizzyingly rebellious ode to femininity. As disco as ever, the “Balmain Army” indulged in a few well-considered references from the 1970s: suede popped up everywhere, there were gypsy ruffles a-go-go and lacing positively flourished… Whether it’s the fabrics, the cuts or the accessorising, dance (and dancefloor) culture is omnipresent with second skin tights, pieces in fishnet, bodies and kick-flare trousers. The sporting of Egyptian necklaces did everything to accentuate the magnetism of this new generation of Amazonians. 

This was Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud’s second show as the heads of Carven. For this spring-summer 2016 collection, the two designers focused on radicalising the elements that marked the success of their first show: trapeze mini-skirts are deconstructed through a play on asymmetry, floral prints dissolve into pop art motifs, and warm colours compete with a subtle set of cool shades, like the immaculate whites, icy greys and pale blues.






By Louise Samson