Style Check: designers go native

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 5:17pm

While the beginning seemed to channel a girl who was lighthearted, cool and sweetly feminine, the final shows on the last day of Paris Fashion Week were wildly different. The Paris weather began to heat up and so did the visual message on the runways.

Moncler Gamme Rouge was next on the agenda, transporting the audience to a jungle setting - a common theme in set designs this season.

Some rather functional safari and khaki outfits were shown among the vines and green palm leaves of this exotic fauna.

Giraffe, python and leopard prints appeared, some of them nestled among plumes of dramatic feathers. It was clear that Moncler was answering the call of the wild.

Then feral skater boys whizzed by on their boards and, in true Moncler style, two men dressed as gorillas danced along the runway at the finale.

Another label employing the jungle as a starting point was Hermès, the final show I attended on the spring-summer 2014 calendar.

The label likes to think of itself as more of a luxury house than a fashion brand, and there is a lot of truth in that statement.

A line of loose, beautifully relaxed outfits solidified the silhouette (cinched at the waist) that Christophe Lemaire often revisits. However, a little more structure here and there would have been welcome - especially for his gorgeous jackets.

For the Hermès woman, hemlines will be conservative - low swinging, from midi-lengths to almost the ankles.

With bold floral prints and earthy tones, Lemaire was definitely looking to the East. We loved the leather croc-effect midi-skirts and the almost monastic series of white outfits which contrasted with inky forest colours.

Nature was a big inspiration at the Christian Dior show (it was called Against Nature) that was held in a fantasy garden setting complete with hanging plants and pastel blooms of lilac wisteria, pink orchids and some birds of paradise to mix it up. Raf Simons, who has a reputation for minimalism, pulled out all the stops with a show full of romance: think pleated floral dresses that followed the house's signature feminine silhouette.

The models - or as Simons called them, his "new tribe of flower women" - walked the runway as colourful vines dangled above them.