The shows at Paris Fashion Week this season featured a significant number of debut names: Sarah Burton for McQueen, Zac Posen, Giles Deacon for Ungaro, and the Olsen twins' The Row. Here's how each fared.
Without a doubt, the McQueen protegee's debut collection for the brand was the most anticipated collection of the Paris shows this season, and Burton did not disappoint. The critics unanimously praised the Spring 2011 collection, and with good reason: From the first jaw-dropping feathered gown to the last look, it was utterly McQueen, but at the same time Burton managed to put her own dreamy, light-filled stamp on the line.
Giles Deacon for Ungaro
In this case, the benchmark was quite low -- picture Lindsay Lohan's disastrous, pasty-filled collection -- but Deacon proved expert in sidestepping the negatives and focusing on the positives: He embraced color and enthusiasm, and opted for a cheery presentation over an ostentations runway show. The dresses had a flirty elegance that felt signature Ungaro, but the overall collection had a unity and grace that was pure Deacon. We're looking forward to seeing what future seasons bring, which is something we weren't sure we'd say again about the House of Ungaro.
After abandoning the New York shows in favor of Paris, it came as no surprise that Posen opted for an opulent, over-the-top runway show, filled with couture-inspired details and lavish touches. Unfortunately, the designer seems to have gone a bit overboard, and the result was less sophisticated than it was simply "too much." Reviews like the one from the AP which claimed the show looked like something out of a strip club certainly didn't help matters. Paris may be where Posen belongs (though he's left New York his lower-price, more commercially-viable Z Spoke line), but we're hoping he embraces a certain Parisian less-is-more sensibility for next season.
Every designer's pre-fashion week nightmare is that the samples won't make it in time, and such was apparently the case leading up to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens' big fashion week debut for The Row in New York. Unfazed, the duo cancelled their New York show in favor of a presentation in Paris, where the simple, sophisticated tailoring of the clothes was a surprisingly perfect counterpoint to the opulent hotel in which they held the event. The Spring 2011 collection is everything you'd expect: minimalist and well-draped -- a formula that's worked well for them in the past and will no doubt continue to serve them well in the future.