The Paris (Fashion Week) Review: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Miu Miu

Photography by Sarah Nicole Prickett
Photography by Sarah Nicole Prickett

I forgot Marc Jacobs was making timeliness happen: apparently, his last two NY shows have begun promptly, and today I nearly missed his Louis Vuitton spectacular because I decided to walk over from Colette Dinnigan. Funny thing: when you ask someone at Paris Fashion Week how long it takes to get somewhere, they give you two times: “weeth heels” and “without.”

I should’ve gone without. But I did skitter in right as the show began, and how lucky I did! Because this show was fun–girlish, giddy fun–which is something I’d no idea I was missing, til 2:30 p.m. (sharp) today. There’s lots of drama in Paris (did you watch McQueen live? I’m still amazed), and there’s beige restraint, and there’s beauty, of course–but not a lot of fun. And what else could you call this bonbon assortment of plaid and prints, pinafores and pockets, and–wholly amazing–poodle hair? The girls looked like Marie Antoinettes on acid. Tassels swung wildly from messenger bags and trussed up shoes–sometimes they were white fur, like funny moustaches.

Later, outside Hermès, we spied a pair on the feet of major stylist Francesca Burns–“From Katie!” she said, as in Grand. “She’s good like that.” Very good indeed–Marc can make the clothes, but Katie knows how to pile them on. As the adorable Susie Bubble told me over tea and sweets chez Angelina, “It’s everything I want to wear in spring! All at once!”

Miu Miu had some of the same whimsy, in much primmer ways. A bit sexy–all those bra tops and bedhead braids–but in the awkward, schoolgirlish way Ms. Prada loves. The recurring swallow prints felt pretty and new. Are lighthearted motifs growing on me, I wonder? Maybe those bizarre strawberry adornments at YSL weren’t so bad?

There were no such surprises at Hermès–all very Anglaise, leisurely, and refined–but there was play too. Of the literal sort, that is. Turf covered the bleachers of La Halle Freyssinet; on the runway, misses Caroline Trentini and Catherine McNeil attempted a match of tennis. (Trust me: there was no winner.) Jean-Paul Gaultier knows what the Hermès women wants, and after sending out some jaunty pleats and preppy cashmeres–all in creamy and rusty shades, or navy–he delivered lovely silky-sheer gowns. Fluttering away from belted waists, they seemed light enough to wear for day. I like that idea. But not with the glam platforms (aren’t show stylists over those yet?) that came with nearly every look; instead, a single pair of flat, python-print ankle boots were coolest.

Or maybe that’s just me, craving relief from my five-inch fatigue. Sometimes if I wonder if heels aren’t just the fashion girl’s unconscious self-punishment: shouldn’t we have to suffer a little to live such privileged lives? When I return to reality, it’ll be in grey sweat-sneakers, cheap A.P.C. knock-offs, I found off Rue de Temple.

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