notes from a fashion director

Amy Larocca’s Paris Fashion Week Dispatch, No. 6

Leather culottes at Valentino
Leather culottes at Valentino Photo: Alessandro Lucioni

Tuesday, March 7

Paris Fashion Week may have wrapped, but New York’s fashion director Amy Larocca still has a final few words to say about it. 

10:30 a.m.: The Chanel show is huge. It’s in the Grand Palais, and the Palais is packed. The sets are always elaborate, and this season the runway is full of massive crystals and stalag-somethings (the ones that come up. Robin Givhan gives me a mnemonic device for remembering the difference, but I have already forgotten it.) The clothes are largely purple, to match the crystals, and the eyebrows are crystal, too. There is a child model — adorable — and Karl himself appears in a purple coat. He takes his bow before the models do their final lap. I’ve never seen that before, but I suppose it speaks to his current level of celebrity.

11:30 a.m: Appointment at Dior on Rue François 1er. The walls of the offices are painted Dior gray, one of my favorite colors. In the showroom, I am particularly attracted to Camille Miceli’s jewelry, which was hard to really study during the show. There are spectacular, mixed-metal ear cuffs. On the rack, the clothes look like very smart updates of classic Dior shapes. I believe the PR team when they tell me they have no news about an official replacement for John Galliano yet, and that their Google alerts have begun to drive them insane. 

12:15 p.m.: Appointment at Yves Saint Laurent. Another PR team who tells me they have no announcement yet, but here they promise that one will be made within the week. [Ed note: voila!] The chain pieces are unbelievably light and stretchy.

2:20 p.m.: Walking into the Valentino show, the path is lined with cameras — they belong to bloggers, tourists, and I don’t know who else. Sometimes, a celebrity will appear, as Katy Perry did on Saturday for Viktor and Rolf, and these snappers will surge into one big, impenetrable blob (just move right out of its way). 

2:30 p.m.: I know it’s a dull word, but oh my God is the Valentino show pretty! It really just is, in the best possible sense. Everything looks young, fresh, and clean, and also somehow cool. My friend next to me says, “I think I just considered leather culottes for the first time,” and I know exactly what she means. I also like the new length they’re doing for evening, and the lower heel heights.

3:30 p.m: Next I’m off to the Roger Vivier shoe presentation inside the Orangerie, where, as a kid, my mother would take me to see the water lilies by Monet. Vivier is a tremendous French legend. For the past few years, the label has been designed by Bruno Frisoni with input from Inès de la Fressange. They’ve kept the famous flats with the pilgrim-style buckles, but they’ve added lots of fantastic new ideas to the mix as well. Today, there are super-embellished ankle boots and a perfect pair of slightly black flats covered in gold paillettes.