BLACK is back in fashion. As Paris women’s fashion week ends Tuesday, the spring-summer 2019 catwalk collections’ last nine days has been one long funeral procession of black, with a little bit of white and the odd dazzle of silver to lift the gloom.
Hedi Slimane went on a voyage to the heart of black in his highly controversial debut at Celine, as did his successor at Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello.
Blink at Valentino, Margiela, Guy Laroche, Givenchy and even Balenciaga and you might have thought yourself at a wake there was so much black, while Rick Owens summoned up the Salem witch-hunts, smoking pyre and all.
Dior — where flowers are never far — was utterly lovely but also determinedly unflashy with subtly subdued colors.
It was left to Chanel, the king of prints Dries van Noten, Haider Ackermann, Paco Rabanne and India’s jester genius Manish Arora to bring some fizz to the party, with the latter outdoing himself with a technicolour collection that burned into memory as well as the retina.
Bags are getting smaller, much smaller. Though the current trend is on semi-huge bags, Ottolinger and Jacquemus’ micro-bag introduced handbags you can hold with one finger.
Karl Lagerfeld may be more than half a century their senior, but he was bang on trend at Chanel. And we were spoilt for choice for them at Louis Vuitton, where they were also attached to belts.
Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s new C bag at Chloe isn’t teeny tiny, but the biggest thing about it is the golden C she has stamped on it, while Maria Grazia Chiuri’s new Dior one is more of a shoulder purse.
Spherical bags were also big, with Chanel introducing its little beach ball bags and Marine Serre’s playful little cartoon bombs.
But for pure practical ingenuity, Issey Miyake’s new bag hat is hard to beat. Made with shot fabric, it can be folded into a hat and worn in an almost infinite number of ways.