Rihanna might have taken all the paparazzi to her Fenty x Puma show, but that left designers like John Galliano at Maison Margiela to explore other ideas for spring/summer '17.
Where Galliano's wacky inspirations stemmed from are anyone's guess - but that's not to say there weren't many moments of quiet beauty in his collection for Margiela. Pastel toned and deconstructed trenches sat alongside jackets and coats adorned with black clusters of baubles for a 3-D effect. While some may call the quirky swimming caps reminiscent of the space-age, there was something a little underwater sea urchin/synchronised swimmer about them. Nevertheless, Galliano presented something rich in detail and full of colourful quirks.
After shocking the industry with his departure from Lanvin last October, Alber Elbaz left a major legacy behind. Leaving Bouchra Jarrar to pick up the mantle, the French designer brought a languid, feminine grace to the house. Dewy faced models strode the runway clad in silk satin suits decorated with large corsages, long sheer skirts, sparkly lace slip dresses (worn with nothing underneath - a provocative spring/summer '17 trend also seen at Gucci and Saint Laurent) and even bias-cut draped cocktail gowns that recalled the Elbaz era at Lanvin. It's refreshing to see another female designer at a major house - let's hope she can sustain the buzz.
The flowers frozen inside giant ice blocks that lined the runway were a fitting metaphor for Dries Van Noten's S/S '17 collection. Looks echoed the stark simplicity of ice (white short suits, leather smock dresses) or reflected the ornate beauty of flowers (beaded collars worn on top of clothes, floral prints on everything). Even though florals might be seen as less than "groundbreaking", in typical Dries fashion, there was an arty, abstract undercurrent of darkness lurking beneath them. And that was the most refreshing part.
Over at Rochas, Alessandro Dell'Acqua gave us a collection that was frothy, feminine and pretty; but juxtaposed with a colour palette that was less candy store and more muted earth tones. Tulle, lace and ruffled chiffon gave the gown a ballerina prettiness, but worn in contrasting layers of mustard, forest green, lilac and beige the effect was unusual and slightly unsettling. While black and white ballgown creations were soft and graceful, when paired with sweaters and gloves there was something curiously off-kilter about the collection - perhaps due to the artist-inspired colour palette.