Runway Report: Paris Couture (Part 2)

Sorry for the delay, am sure you were all hovering in nail-biting suspense to read the second half of my couture report...so here they are, the final set of lessons to be learned from last week's Parisian festivities:

Elie Saab's Bolero: The New Accessory Craze?

Now that you can find pashminas on every street corner and Kate Moss-style vests in midwestern shopping malls, a new 'It' accessory is due - and I think that the bolero, like the ones all over Elie Saab's runways, are a brilliant option. I'm not a huge fan of boleros over dresses, as I think they're a tad Golden Girls, but would totally wear one over a thin cotton tank and jeans - the more sequins, beads and sparkles, the better.

John Paul Gaultier's Mermaids: The New Pirates?

Ever since Johnny Depp tied that stripey bandanna around his head and feigned that weird accent, it seems like the world's gone pirate mad. I mean, even my mom dressed up like Jack Sparrow for Halloween last year - and you know when a middle-aged suburban housewife is getting into a trend, it's reached cult proportions. After flipping through the photos from Gaultier's show, I have a feeling that mermaids are going to be the next big thing - his fishtail hems, scaley prints and boho-meets-barge netting are the perfect mix of theatrical and cool. And with The Little Mermaid now firmly established on Broadway, my hunch is that it's only a matter of time before costume shop owners start bulk-ordering faux fish tails and seashell bras...

Givenchy's Gothic Romance: The New Season's Mood?

The spring runways were all about sweetness and light, with enough rosettes, chiffon, floral fabrics and ruffles to give even the girliest of girls a toothache. Ricardo Tisci's collection for Givenchy seems to be the natural progression of the trend into the darker days of fall, with ruffles rendered in black silk and flouncy A-line skirts crafted out of what looks like black leather. It's like the romantic girl-next-door from spring switched high schools and fell in with a bad crowd, dying her hair black and filling her iPod with Evanescence - and I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of this on the runways starting next week.

Valentino Red: The New Classic

I've always thought of Valentino as being outside the realms of fashion - his aesthetic hasn't really changed over the course of all these years, he basically ignores the fashion world's constantly evolving trends and fads, yet his work still manages to look totally fresh each and every time. His final collection was more of the same - little pastel skirt suits, high-luxe ball gowns, and, naturally, a procession of perfect red dresses to close the show. Now that he's retired, I think it's safe to say that those perfect red dresses will be his lasting legacy, taking their place alongside Coco Chanel's tweed jackets and Yves Saint Lauren's Le Smoking as his most notable signature. I'm really interested to see how Alessandra Fachinetti interprets the label when she shows her first collection for the house in a few weeks...

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