Sarah Burton said it all in just 10 exquisite looks for Alexander McQueen's Fall 2013. Ten breathtaking and bold nods to Elizabethan-era drama that we'll wait anxiously to see on the red carpet. This is not the stuff of Kate Middleton's wardrobe — the slim-cut pencil skirts and peplum-trimmed military jackets — it's a tour de force of the most intricate and beautifully crafted kind. White dresses were covered in pearls and decked in frothy white feathered sleeves and collars. Black high-collared, corseted confections, finished with caged legwear and delicate face masks were so awe-inspiring you hardly even noticed Karlie Kloss underneath all the detail. There was complexity in every look, and not just in the measure of materials (organza, lace, feathers, studding, netting, leather). It was all at once ethereal, powerful, regal, and incredibly beautiful. Burton makes crafting something otherworldly entirely possible; the bigger task is finding a real-life event worthy of wearing her work.
The finale at the Valentino Fall 2013 presentation in Paris was more akin to a line of schoolgirls walking to class than a high-fashion runway. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) The models wore a single side plait that hovered near waist-length, and their styles were topped off with basic black headbands. To add to the girlish charm, the makeup palette was soft and subtle with skin-tone eye shadow, groomed brows, and nude lips.
The look: Casual schoolgirl plaits and natural makeup.
Who would wear it: A woman out for a weekend bike ride by the beach.
Trends: Braids never go out of style — whether you're 40 or 14.
Pastels are no longer just for Spring. New York Fashion Week ushered in a neutral palette, but Parisian designers took a lighter approach, updating their Fall/ Winter runways with pastel hues. Everything was coated in light candy colors — oversize outerwear, dresses, and even sunglasses! We've also noticed an overarching school-girl theme. Think chic plaid getups, button-ups, and knee-highs. Watch on to hear the rest of our report from the City of Light! On Allison McNamara: Sea dress, Luv Aj necklace and ring.
The Valentino Fall 2013 collection read like a modern fairy tale, rife with romance, beauty, and femininity. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli drew inspiration from the paintings of Flemish masters, and it came through most clearly in the modest silhouettes and simple red, white, blue, and black color palette. Schoolgirl shifts were adorned with embroidered lace dickies, cuffed long sleeves, crisp collars, and faux front pockets; and for evening, those same accents appeared on a range of floor-length gowns, providing a more subdued kind of elegance for the Valentino woman. It wasn't all stunning eveningwear, though. A youthful sensibility was introduced via shorter minidresses — finished with scalloped edges and subtle colorblocking — and through slightly tougher leather-and-lace numbers. To finish, we saw the house's signature red come down the runway in an off-the-shoulder gown, along with a parade of insanely pretty blue gowns, either lace-covered, embroidered, tapestry-printed, or solid-hued. See it all here.
It's such a shame none of the girls who walked in Valentino's Fall 2013 show on Tuesday wore pearl earrings. The collection was an ode to Flemish artists and artisans that visited everything from Rembrandt to Delftware, and even threw in some less-than-obvious references to Vermeer.
But even shoppers who didn't major in art history will find things to appreciate and love in this offering, like the white, embroidered leather collars on dresses that called "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" to mind and enhanced their wearer's faces. The many blue and white dresses in the show were cut from fabrics developed to look like Delft pottery, seen often in Vermeer's paintings.
The clothes themselves toed the line between Valentino's place in the fairy tale of fashion (a few ermine pieces made the models wearing them look like Renaissance royalty) and the current vogue for rounded shoulders and generous outerwear. What Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have shown here is that they can work a theme without getting too thematic. And the results are simply stunning.
Givenchy's Fall 2013 collection was designed for the strong woman in mind, and no fierce female would be complete without a bold beauty statement. And that's just what the colorful hair coming down the Parisian runway was all about. The models' strands were pinned up in multiple coils and then painted various bold hues, including blue, pink, purple, and orange. With such eye-catching hair, the makeup was kept simple with shades of pink on the eyes, lips, and cheeks, which is a lot more wearable than the colorful coifs.
The look: Vibrant hair with shimmering pink makeup.
Who would wear it: The empowered woman who likes to make heads turn.
Color scheme: Rainbow hair with a surprisingly sweet pink makeup palette.
Valentino is known for his elegant, feminine designs, an aesthetic that follows suit in the perpetually glamorous beauty looks he sends down his runways. Ballerina buns, berry lips, and natural makeup are what this iconic designer favors, whether the season be Spring or Fall. Relive some of the most beautiful moments of the Valentino runway.
Chanel Fall 2013 was all about celebrating the brand's global reach. With the strains of "Around the World" pumping through the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld sent models swirling around a gigantic light-up globe with interlocking CC logo flags dropped in to the brand's boutiques around the world. Chanel's iconic tweeds turned up in boxy jackets with rounded shoulders over matching miniskirts, while the famous quilted bag got an update with an open-ended handle. Nighttime came in layers of sheer black over chain-laden boots and globe-shaped minaudières. From the folders filled with photos of the collection by Lagerfeld himself to the enormity of the set, there was a precision and an attention to detail that one can only expect of a house like Chanel. If this is Karl's world, then we want to live in it. Click through to see the full Chanel 2013 collection.
Chanel's Fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection was a study in how to be a global brand. Start by putting on the largest production of Paris Fashion Week, complete with a glowing globe dotted with your store locations spinning in the middle of the Grand Palais. Then line up a celeb-packed front row, including Jessica Chastain and Frank Ocean. And finally, send out a strong collection that capitalizes on the DNA of the brand while hitting all the right notes for the season. Jackets had the de rigeur rounded shoulder and boxy shape, while high hemlines skimmed the leather of thigh high boots. Footwear took on a tough edge with chains strewn across the front, and there were endless varieties of the iconic Chanel bag — some familiar, some brand-new. Based on this collection, we might see some new dots on that globe come next season. Click through to see the full Chanel 2013 collection.