Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

It was a monumental Paris. A game-changer, at least in terms of the business of fashion. The last time there was more to report on than the customary new trends and fashion shows was in the late 90s and early 2000's when LVMH and Gucci Group were snapping up designers and brands for their respective conglomerates.

Who knows what will happen between now and September/October when the next runway shows take place. Will Riccardo be moved to Dior as is the word in all quarters? Is Haider Ackermann commercial enough for a move into Givenchy? Can John Galliano recover enough to be seen in public, and can he hope to resurrect his career? Is Sarah Burton designing the Royal wedding dress; or is she, as she protests, busy working on the McQueen brands' hugely significant Met Museum exhibiton, and dressing the attendees of the accompanying ball (three days after the wedding) instead? One thing is certain, right now the fashion industry is the perfect muse for a contemporary Shakespeare. The actual fashion isn't bad either. I'm working on that too. As is customary post the catwalk shows, for the next week I will be sitting in a darkened room with the fashion junior creating a trend report of the season before it all dissolves from my mind...

So welcome to my Paris fashion week tumble.
At the end of the Dior show, which was pretty but surreal after years of seeing the Galliano spectacle, atelier staff came out to take a bow in place of John Galliano. The team, in their white coats, stood and modestly clapped us the audience, while we clapped them. It was a masterful and emotional moment, reminding us - following a decade in fashion that championed fashion designers as stars - that while the creative talent of a fashion house can be disposable, the fashion house itself remains sacrosanct.

This little book is indispensable to me throughout Paris, telling me where to go, when, and who to see about what.
David Bowie taken from Phoebe Philo's inspiration book, placed on seats at the Celine show. Phoebe has hit her stride at Celine. Her show was solid.
Rather loved the Jean Paul Gaultier invitation, and the show was the first one of his I have loved in a long time..
The Jean Paul Gaultier show finale
The Givenchy invitation tickled me; this is a close-up of the Jaguar head featured on one side of the invite. The eyes reflect the silhouettes of a naked make and female. I wonder if this is the exact print Riccardo used in his collection? (below) On closer inspection I don't think so, more's the pity.

The Hakaan invitation was beautiful; this is going into a memory box for future use.  
Below is the translation of Sidney Toledano's address from the beginning of the Dior show. While I respected and admire the manner in which the Dior brand reasserted its power, I still cannot help feeling sorry for John Galliano the man. I hope he will be forgiven for his outrageous conduct.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since its founding by Monsieur Dior, the House of Christian Dior has lived an extraordinary and wonderful story and has had the honor of embodying France’s image, and it’s values, all around the world. What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all. It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be. Such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all peoples.
These statements have deeply shocked and saddened all at Dior who give body and soul to their work, and it is particularly painful that they came from someone so admired for his remarkable creative talent. So now, more than ever, we must publicly re-commit ourselves to the values of the House of Dior.

Christian Dior founded his House in 1947.

His family had been ruined in the Crash of 1929 and his own beloved sister had been deported to Buchenwald. In the aftermath of the dark years of the war, he sought to free women, to give them back their sparkle and joyfulness.

Christian Dior’s values were those of excellence in all that he undertook, of elegance and of craftsmanship reflecting his unique talent. His mission was not only to make his clients – indeed all women – more beautiful, but also to make them happy, to help them dream. He saw himself as a magician who could give women confidence and make them ever more feminine, more sublime. He believed in the importance of respect and in the capacity of this fundamental value not only to bring out the beauty in women, but also bring out the best in all people.

His values, his genius and his legacy have contributed to enhancing France’s image and culture around the world for more than sixty years.

The values that Monsieur Dior taught us are unchanged today. Those values are carried on by the wonderful and diverse group of people within the House of Dior who devote all their talent and energy to achieving the ultimate in artisanship and femininity, respecting traditional skills and incorporating modern techniques.

The heart of the House of Dior, which beats unseen, is made up of its teams and studios, of its seamstresses and craftsmen, who work hard day after day, never counting the hours, and carrying on the value and the vision of Monsieur Dior.

What you are going to see now is the result of the extraordinary, creative, and marvelous efforts of these loyal, hardworking people.
Thank you.

Chanel AW11 by Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel I would wear.

More Chanel pour moi.
Roland Mouret always sends us a little note.

The show notes for Nina Ricci, one of the highlights of my Paris and one of my favourite catwalk looks. I am making it my business to profile Peter Copping, that is if he will let me after I compared his looks to an old photo of Monsieur Dior. He took it well though.  
It was lovely for Phoebe Philo to share some of her visual inspiration with us. I can totally see how these images have inspired her work.
Stella McCartney is another designer sweet enough to add the personal touch to her fashion show notes. In her show Stella had a bit of an 80s Miyake, Alaia and Montana big-shoulder-small-waist moment that I have a feeling will be mighty influential in the coming months.

Stella McCartney AW11. Is Stella studying 80s Miyake and Claude Montana "State of Claude Montana" silhouettes? I like this a lot.

Chloe show notes, and a look from a show that can only be Chloe. I hope Hannah MacGibbon stays on there. She has her own very good thing going on.

The novelty show of the week was Nicola Formichetti's work for Thierry Mugler, the show began a week that was topped and tailed by fetish inspired shows - Louis Vuitton ended the week. (Givenchy was also rather fetish, as was Giles show in London.) By the end of Paris fashion week I was taking the fetish trend seriously.
Mulger by Nicola Formichetti

It also begs the question: why can Lady Gaga get away with smoking on a runway, and Kate Moss can't?
 Lady Gaga smoking on the Mugler runway

Kate smoking on the Vuitton runway

Another still from Phoebe's book.
Finally, to my fashion-show music of the week; Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld seemed to take inspiration from the 1979 Cure track A Forest (my all-time favourite Cure number).

Come closer and see
see into the trees
find the girl
while you can
Come closer and see
see into the dark
just follow your eyes
just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
calling my name
the sound is deep
in the dark
I hear her voice
and start to run
into the trees
into the trees

into the trees

Suddenly I stop
but i know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
all alone
The girl was never there
it's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
again and again and again

The show setting felt like we were in the middle of a post-apocalyptic forest with the models stomping in their flat boots through scorched, smoking earth. The quality of the sound coming from the speakers was pretty awe-inspiring. Five days afer the show, the song is still going round in my head. The collection also had some great not-typically Chanel elements too - the butchy trousers, workman inspired boots and some fantastic tweed capes. I leave you with The Cure in 1979. Here, Robert Smith looks like Ben Affleck. Clearly his thick eye-liner and badly applied red lipstick wearing days were just around the corner.

Images: Modem, Celine (Artists Research Management and Anna Kustera Gallery), Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Modem, Hakaan, WWD, Chanel, Kenzo, Chanel, Roland Mouret, Chanel, Nina Ricci, Celine (Larry Fink, Sibylle Bergemann) Stella McCartney, Chloe, New York Times, Celine (The British Council), Christian Dior, Chanel All catwalk images: Chris Moore/Catwalking