Sometimes it seems as if everyone walking down Paris’s streets is heading to a fashion show. French women still subscribe to an unspoken dress code that demands everyday polish even if they’re just walking elderly, pudgy bulldogs. The designers who showed their Spring 2018 collections globally have not always been so consistent, but this season they aligned with those Parisians in one respect: Disheveled styling and normcore were absent from the runways. Instead, romantic floral dresses, intriguing wear-to-work separates and embroidered jackets came into play.
Designers also worked the idea of comfort into chic silhouettes. At Céline—a brand known for both edginess and real-world wearability—Phoebe Philo presented deftly tailored trench coats. Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino offered embellished gowns with racer-backs, elegance with a wink of sportiness. Louis Vuitton’s spectacular opera coats were paired with New Age-y sneakers and silk boxer shorts, clothing that’s fun to run around in, weather permitting.
Speaking of weather, an abundance of coats—from a spray-painted leather car coat at Calvin Klein to a tan oversize robe coat at the Row—seemed to outnumber classically skimpy spring offerings such as sundresses and T-shirts. Designers are starting to address women’s seasonal shopping needs by offering pieces you can actually buy and wear in March, when spring clothes hit stores. Boots, too, especially Western styles, proliferated. Favorites included butterscotch heels at Givenchy and snakeskin ankle boots at Chloé.
Seemingly plucked from a French interior, brocades and patterned textiles were a happy, homey surprise. From left: Brock Collection’s pretty mattress-ticking dress; Dries Van Noten’s luxe pattern mix; Loewe’s sofa-fringe layers; Maison Margiela’s tapestry-bodiced top; Louis Vuitton’s saucy brocade jacket with boxer shorts and sneakers.
Sparkle is almost run-of-the-mill in fashion, yet brilliance as unrelenting as this still turns heads. From left: Carolina Herrera’s silvery stunner (which actress Sarah Paulson just wore to the Emmys); Giorgio Armani’s elegantly shiny black suit; Alessandro Michele’s shockingly demure iridescent dresses at Gucci; and colorful art deco-patterned sequins at Marc Jacobs .
When shorts are styled with a classic jacket or top, this chic alternative to miniskirts can look remarkably polished. From left: At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri revved up shorts with a jazzy graphic windbreaker; cotton cargo shorts and a sleeveless striped shirt had a retro vibe at Prada, olive-drab shorts looked sophisticated with a gold-trimmed blazer and a polka dot blouse at Saint Laurent.