Haute Couture Time at Paris Fashion Week

Source – Balmain RTW Fall/Winter 2012

I have never really been one to understand haute couture.

I’m just not enough of a ‘visionary’, when it comes to fashion, to translate those extreme runway looks in my mind into something I would wear on a daily basis.

Therefore, the only fashion week show pictures I ever really browse online are from the Ready to Wear collections. There’s no way any of these pieces would be ‘ready to wear’ for me (well, they’re still thousands of dollars each for starters!), as they are still too out there, but they’re often tamed down enough that I could get an idea of what the new trends are and how I could work them into my closet if I like them.

Sooooo as Paris Fashion Week has been underway now for a while, I thought I would do the legwork and pick out some of my favourite pieces from some of the designers showcasing this year. Again, the pieces as they stand on the runway are not really ones I like but if there was something in it I liked the look of, I chose it! See what you think?

  • Stella McCartney RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Stella McCartney is awesome because: a) she refuses to use fur or leather in her designs (yayyyy!) and b) she was responsible for my favourite look from the Grammys this year, Gwyneth Paltrow’s black and gold gown.

Her Paris Fashion Week RTW collection was full of these long-sleved dresses with the same flirty hem and funky pattern that you see here. Plus I love that her platforms all had white soles!

  • Chanel RTW Fall/Winter 2012

I loved all the purple in Chanel’s collection this fall. Sometimes fall/winter runways are very drab (and there was a lot of grey and black this year) so I was really glad to see this purple in there – such a pretty colour!

  • Valentino RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Ah Valentino, how you disappointed me so on this year’s red carpet. From Shailene Woodley’s Oscar near-miss and Viola Davis’ BAFTA Awards near-miss, to surefire misses on Livia Firth at the Oscars and Michelle Williams at the SAG Awards, I was very concerned about what your collection would hold for us on the runway.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by how wearable this outfit was. First of all, I love the mix of tough and feminine fabrics. And then the black and white? Love. And the sheer? LOVE! Don’t even get me started on the bow :).

  • Yves Saint Laurent RTW Fall/Winter 2012

When I didn’t like Kylie Minogue’s blue dress at the BRIT Awards, it was mainly because of the fit, not the style, so I wasn’t holding anything against Yves Saint-Laurent. Thank goodness, because this was probably my favourite collection of all the Ready to Wears I looked at from Paris Fashion Week.

There were lots of deep V-necked dresses and lots of pantsuits. So I chose this photo as the most representative of the collection – a deep V-necked pantsuit! It’s a sexy look without revealing too much. Love it!

  • Cacharel RTW Fall/Winter 2012

I wouldn’t have thought of pairing white tights under a short dress, especially not in fall, but I appreciated that Cacharel tried hard not to make its collection too dull and boring. Just because it’s for fall/winter shouldn’t mean it’s dull!

I loved the colour/pattern and style of this dress.

  • Giambattista Valli RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Ultimately I wasn’t a fan of Emma Stone’s Giambattista Valli Oscars gown, but it was a similar red to this and I loved the infusion of red on the runway.

Also? Loving the deep V while it’s colour-blocked with a black panel so it’s office appropriate.

  • Nina Ricci RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Again loving the purple, and I love the silhouette of this coat for fall/winter!

  • Balmain RTW Fall/Winter 2012

So many things about this look that I love – I would put it as my second favourite behind YSL’s runway. Love the embroidery on the pants, and the cozy knit sweater that’s loose fitting while the pants and booties keep some structure to the outfit. LOVE!

  • Mugler RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Haha and this was the most ‘normal’ of Mugler’s whole ‘ready to wear’ collection, I swear! If they filled in some of those slits though I think I like the way this dress drapes and flows. And I love the white chest panel with the black straps!

  • Hermes RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Oh this look is all about the slouchy sweater with the slightly rolled pants for me – and those V-cut booties and cuffs! Yay!

  • Christian Dior RTW Fall/Winter 2012

The Christian Dior runway was very ‘grey’ this year, but this dress is exquisitely cut and draped. It’s so flattering and feminine, love it! My #3 favourite :).

  • Isabel Marant RTW Fall/Winter 2012

Love the slouchiness of this minidress – it keeps it from being too sexy. And the boots rock!

  • Lanvin RTW Fall/Winter 2012

So Lanvin completely failed for me on Meryl Streep for her Oscar win, but wowed me with Emma Stone’s gown at the Golden Globes, so they can come out with some real winners. And this runway, albeit dark, was stunning. This dress is gorgeous with its draping. Love it!


  • What are your favourites? Gotta be Yves Saint Lauren first for me, followed by Balmain and then Christian Dior!
  • Do you ever look at runway fashions? Or do you find them too ‘out there’ as well?


  1. I like the Lanvin and Christian Dior! Some of the stuff is beautiful but I could not pull off, haha!

    I love fashion! Always fun to look at!

    Happy Thursday! ❤

  2. My dream is to go to a fashion week in New York! I think runway shows are like a land of make believe, they turn it into a show so its dramatized and exaggerated, but most of the trends and details do start popping up in mainstream stores (1-2 years later) eventually. It can’t be taken literally. But I do like these looks you picked out that aren’t as fantasy and more literal. I love Stella McCartney.

    • It definitely is a fantasy land and it’s fun to look at but I struggle to look at it and relate it to real life at all, so that’s what I had fun trying to do with this post! Stella McCartney rocks, I agree! 🙂

  3. These are all pretty out there but I like the Isabel Marant the best! I don’t really look at runway fashion, but it’s fun to see every once in a while. They do come out with some crazy stuff sometimes!

  4. LOVE the Balmain!! ❤

  5. I love fashion shows! I definitely like Christian Dior, amazing! Not that I would actually wear some of the stuff, but still beautiful!!!

  6. I love your pics, A! Would have chosen pretty much the same, tho’ I just don’t get Stella McCartney, which is a shame, as I lurrve her father. The Balmain shapes are so gorgeous and wearable, with that macho female look that I particularly favour, The glitzy decoration is super too. Being of some seniority – ha ha! – I’d wear leggings under the pelmet skirt, though! The Hermes . slouchy jumper I would wear in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for your expert blogs! It’s nice to talk over the collections and see a pick of the pics. xx

  7. I’ve never been into runway fashions. They’re definitely too out there for me. I’m more of a relaxed dresser: jeans, cute dresses, boots, flats, etc. I would never wear most of that stuff…except the mini dress toward the bottom. That was kind of cute. 🙂


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