Paris Fashion Week ended Wednesday, bringing the Fall 2011 season to a close. Much went down over the course of the European collections. Between the John Galliano public scandal and all its aftershocks, Balmain designer Cristophe Decarnin's rumored breakdown and hospitalization, Lady Gaga mania, the ubiquitous Kanye sightings and whisperings of who will helm Dior next, Twitter was ablaze with topics to discuss. But not lost during all the hubbub was the clothing itself: some of the strongest shows of the season came out of the City of Light.
During the past week we saw the sexy peekaboo theme that began in New York develop into a full-blown S&M pandemic. This was most prominent at Givenchy, where designer Riccardo Tisci showed sheer organza tops over patent leather bras. Similarly, Alexander McQueen and Mugler featured leather dominatrix-style halters.
Two lesser-known but enormous talents, Rick Owens and Haider Ackermann, continued with the long, lean silhouettes that they have both always done so well, and that have been so prominent throughout many of the other Fall collections. Owens added a phenomenal ankle-grazing cape to his repertoire, and Ackermann defined the waist and the shoulder every which way, to great effect.
Over at Lanvin, Alber Elbaz sent out an army of light-as-air, sorbet-hued dresses that made you want to dive right in. And Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquiere showed an ahead-of-the-curve collection that will surely shape what comes down the runways next season.
But without further ado, please take a look for yourself.