Paris Fashion Week: The Fall 2014 shows bring the antics

Alexander McQueen Fall 2014
Photography by Peter Stigter

Alexander McQueen Fall 2014
Photography by Peter Stigter

See the latest from Paris Fashion Week Fall 2014 »

Over lunch today with the team from Chanel‘s Canadian press office, we couldn’t help rehashing the extravagant spectacle we’d just been lucky enough to witness from the front row. The full grocery store set up included fresh vegetable and cheese stands, along with aisles and aisles of canned goods, cleaning products, cupboard staples and bathroom essentials. More than 400 different products had been assembled and branded with the double Cs and Karl’s witty bon mots (only Chanel can get away with “sacs plus belle” garbage bags and 50% markup posters). This house in particular, has always led the pack with its devotion to creating a lasting impression through a full sensory experience. More and more designers are jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to have editors, buyers and shoppers create emotional attachments to their brands. In a week devoted to clothes, theatrics aren’t necessary, but a fun way to stand out from the pack and further promote your seasonal message. Here are this week’s top shows that pushed the envelope with memorable antics:

1. The top spot goes to Chanel, no question. Everything from the faux shipping boxes that we sat on, to the shopping carts, themed accessories and Supercentre pop soundtrack had us eating out of the palm of Karl’s hand. Takeaway boxes of gummy candies in the shape of No. 5 perfume bottles, tweed jackets and camellias were icing on the cake.

2. Last night’s Alexander McQueen presentation left everyone blown away without distracting from the complexity of the clothing. As Bjork’s “Bachelorette” played, the models walked through a barren landscape with billowing smoke that set off the dark, Icelandic inspiration.

3. Jean Paul Gaultier is never one to shy away from upping the ante on presentation value. Decking his show staff in silvery one-piece spacesuits was an easy way to get into the theme from the get-go.

4. Hedi Slimane already knows how to draw a crowd—the lineup to get into his Saint Laurent show space snaked down the street and around the corner. A custom commissioned soundtrack, blinding stadium lights and massive gold bars that crisscrossed the runway will only have us coming back for more.

5. Special mention goes to Charlotte Olympia, who transformed her entire showroom space into a Far East fantasy. Black lacquered bamboo chairs, carved cabinets, paper lanterns, incense and a full tea service laid her shoe and handbag message out loud and clear.