Robin Givhan: The Stars (and Strugglers) From Paris Fashion Week


The spring 2014 Paris fashion shows came to their informal conclusion Wednesday afternoon with a presentation by thestalwart French luxury brand Hermès. The show, set in a glass-enclosed haven within the Luxembourg Gardens, had a pebble-strewn path as its runway, which wound through a lushly orchestrated landscape of ferns and palms. As guests arrived, waiters passed flutes of Champagne and fruit juice, along with fresh madeleines — still warm, so good. When the clothes, designed by Christophe Lemaire, finally appeared, they were reserved and dignified — not particularly exciting but very much in keeping with the stately classicism and decorum of the house. With his tropical-print skirts that fell to mid-calf, full trouserswrap blouses, androomy blazers, Lemaire offered reassurance rather than invention.

A model, with a faint smile briefly interrupting her serene visage, closed the show dressed in a pair of ivory trousers and a crisp white shirt. With that final note, Lemaire essentially said to his audience:Don’t worry. You can simply choose to opt out of fashion’s enduring chaos. Salut!

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