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Paris Progress Report



    The last major stop on the Spring 2010 fashion train has pulled into Paris and in classic style, continues to impress.  With exhilirating shows so far from Rochas, Gareth Pugh and Balenciaga, and dominated by Balmain, the week goes on strong.

    Gareth Pugh engaged in the dark arts in mood only for his Spring 2010 collection.  A palette of soft grays and black in light silhouettes ranging from loose to tight sulked down the runway with the glamour of easy stoicism, like those moody, rainy evenings when anything can happen.

    Over at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière bucked habits toward the common pretty with constructions of art in leather, jersey and nylon.  Dresses, vests, jeans and skirts exploded with street cred, but to label the designer's brilliance of method as streetwear, urbane or perhaps to apply any pre-applied labels at all would be to denigrate what we saw (and that's just in pictures). 

    Rochas set forth with prints, in color to send the heart soaring.  Designer Marco Zanini used the motherland for inspiration, sending the quintessential French girl on a tour in lovely, well tailored separates.

    And finally, the show that personified many of the trends seen to date on the runways and already at street level.  If one of fashion's many definitions would be its almagation of moods, senses and attitudes to convey extreme pleasure, then Christophe Decarnin's Spring 2010 collection for the house of Balmain may be described as definitive.  Rough camouflage and weathered textures danced intimately with dripping sequins and of course, the shoulder in all its dazzling, bold forms: military, evening, day -- and all distinctly Balmain. 

    The fun continues, franco-fashion-philes: the little birdies are flitting about Dior's expected front row guest: none other than Prince himself!