Fashion month for Spring 2019 wrapped up in a glamorous bow two weeks ago with the collections presented in Paris. In terms of styles we typically see New York is typically more wearable sports wear, London is typically all about the print, Milan is all about tailoring, and Paris is all about heritage. Heritage was a huge topic of discussion this season as we saw Heidi Slimane debut at Celine as well as took in collections from legacy houses like McQueen, Balenciaga, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Chanel. The question is what matters more innovation and modernization or sticking to the DNA of a legacy house? In this list of the 15 favorite looks I want to see on the red carpet we are definitely going to dig into that idea. Alexander McQueen: Kicking off the list is Sarah Burton’s most amazing collection for Alexander McQueen. I go back and forth from season to season on my feelings of the work that Burton has been sending down the runway at McQueen. When she first took the reigns following Lee McQueen’s terrible death I really felt that Burton really did him proud providing shows that pushed boundaries, but in recent years it seems like she has become a slave to consumerism. The house used to use the runway as an art form and then also have a “commercial” collection that it would present to buyers. Nowadays we don’t see that as often. The looks that come down the runway are typically a lot more wearable than what I am used to seeing on a McQueen runway. With that being said the Spring 2019 RTW collection was choc full of looks that I think could bring to the red carpet. More than half of the 41 looks that Burton sent down the runway have the potential to be really beautiful moments on the red carpet. When I saw this digital floral and lace print midi dress which features a rounded off the shoulder neckline and a leather belted waist my heart was taken immediately. It isn’t the most innovative dress for sure, this is something 8 years ago I would have expected to be seen in the commercial lookbook, but I definitely think that if we see Keira Knightley take a break from her Chanel ambassador duties (which she does do) that this would be a perfect option for her to bring to a red carpet.
Altuzarra: When it comes to “Americans in Paris” so far the most successful at being accepted into the Parisian circle. Zac Posen, Rodarte, and Proenza Schouler have all attempted to join the Parisian circuit, including some putting their ready to wear shows on the couture week calendar. All have since returned to New York Fashion Week. Paris looks good on Altuzarra. He has been delivering some of my favorite collections in these last three recent collections. He hasn’t changed his aesthetic. It is still the very chic tailoring mixed with great prints and killer construction that he has always presented, but instead of being a big fish in a small pond he is showing that he can hang with the biggest of brands. Just look at the brands that show in Paris that are also on this list like Chanel, Balenciaga, and Givenchy (and even those that aren’t like Dior and Valentino) whom he sits in the company of now. Is it the Kering effect? The company (which also has stake in brands like McQueen and Givenchy) owns a small stake in Altuzarra, but I think it is a perfect partnership. The collection is incredibly wearable and I know that Altuzarra stans will be all over the looks from this collection. Evan Rachel Wood loves herself a pants ensemble and an Altuzarra design for the red carpet and I definitely think she would be the perfect person to bring this black and purple ensemble which consists of a silk ‘Mafalda’ top which features paillette embellishment detailing with a cutout waistline and open back and a pair of matching ‘Ripley’ tailored slim fit pants to life.
Balenciaga: I might be talking to the wind with this wish since Demna Gvasalia took the reigns as the creative director at Balenciaga there has been very little of the brand on the red carpet. It honestly depends from season to season if there are looks from Balenciaga that I want to see on the red carpet. Demna’s mix of his “urban” and “streetwear” background and the very distinct heritage of the Balenciaga label can be interesting. I personally hated the layered “Joey from Friends” coats that Demna sent down the runway in February, but for Spring 2019 he was back on my favored collections list with a collection that showed the houses heritage of sleek construction in a very modern way. I definitely could see stars and stylists being drawn to looks from this collection for the red carpet and this emerald green satin mini dress which features a cocoon caped bodice is that perfect mix of the Balenciaga heritage and the modern woman and I really want to see it on the back of Danai Gurira, maybe for an awards season appearance? Celine: The biggest conversation of modernity vs. heritage was laid out when Heidi Slimane sent his debut collection for Celine down the runway. I am a firm believer in that the archives of a historic fashion house should inform the codes of the future. Do designers have to reissue things that are already in the archives? No, but I think that designers should be informed by history. The brand was founded in 1945 as a children’s shoes label and the founders started adding women’s ready to wear in 1960. Founder Céline Vipiana helmed the brand from its founding in 1945 to 1997 when the brand was taken over by Michael Kors. Since then the brand has also been designed by Roberto Menichetti and most famously Phoebe Philo. To me the sign of a good creative director is that they can seamlessly transition the brand without causing much of a break in continuity of what makes the brand the brand slowly putting their personal stamp on the labels heritage. Heidi Slimane has never been that kind of person. The collection he showed for his Celine debut flipped the chic ladylike looks we are used to seeing from Celine and turned the woman into a rock chick. He did the same thing when he took over Saint Laurent in 2012. In fact I would have expected to see this same collection on the runway at Saint Laurent under Heidi. I said it then and I will say it again I think Heidi is brilliant, but he shouldn’t impose solely his vision for a brand without being informed by it’s history. He should start his own label. I think it would be a huge seller. With that all being said I want to see many of the looks on the red carpet as they were presented on the runway and modified. Lady Gaga gave us our first taste of Heidi’s Celine when she debuted his first bag for the collection on the sidewalk and then she was seated front row (actually wearing Azzedine Alaia and not Heidi’s Celine) and I feel like with an Oscar run on the way I think that Celine is definitely something we will see optioned for her. I am already thinking that if A Star Is Born is honored at the AFI Awards that this black and white polka dot cocoon shaped mini dress (complete with tulle veiled fascinator) would be the perfect option for Gaga to wear.
Chanel: When it comes to knowing heritage Karl Lagerfeld is one of the designers that does it best. He is the houses only other creative director aside from Coco Chanel herself. So he has her original archives from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s to base his collections on as well as his own archives for the house since he took the reigns in 1983. This season Karl to us on a journey to the beach (he always has the best set of fashion month this season included actual waves breaking on a sandy beach) but the clothes weren’t nautical or beachy in design. In fact my favorite look from the collection reminded me a lot of Karl’s early 90’s archives. The look consists of a boxy short sleeve cropped button down shirt with the houses name embroidered on front pockets paired with skinny black pants and a logomania chain belt. It isn’t anything ‘new’ but 90’s fashion is really big right now so it still feels fresh and now. The moment I saw it on the runway I immediately pictured Chanel ambassador Kristen Stewart claiming it as her next red carpet look.
Dries Van Noten: Season after season I always love what Dries Van Noten sends down the runway. If I were a woman I would be living in his prints, textures, embellishments, and construction. It isn’t very often we see Dries on the red carpet but I definitely think that we should. The more feminine and bohemian take on glamour is perfect for many stars who rock the red carpet. I loved this navy long sleeve coverall style jumpsuit embellished with silver and orange beaded and sequined fringe when it came down the runway. I won’t lie I thought it was a midi dress from photos, but when I watched the runway video and saw that it was actually a jumpsuit it only made me love it more. I did however change my thought process on who i think would rock it on a red carpet. As a midi dress I thought it would have been perfect for either Tilda Swinton or Maggie Gyllenhaal, but as a jumpsuit I think that this is something that is more along the lines of something that Carey Mulligan could sell to me on the red carpet or maybe for a press event. Elie Saab: Flirty glamour is in the DNA of the Elie Saab woman. He has been changing who his woman is in recent seasons though, especially in his ready-to-wear collections. He has been focusing on a much younger clientele than what we are typically used to seeing from Saab. That might be why he has been focusing his red carpet dressing on stars like Hailee Steinfeld, Yara Shahidi, Gal Gadot, Kaitlyn Dever, Zendaya, and Bella Hadid. They speak to that audience. The brand consistently delivers gorgeous gowns, cocktail dresses, jumpsuits, and casual ensembles perfect for young stars to rock on the red carpet. While the brand is far from the red carpet powerhouse it was a few years ago stars do love to wear the brand on the red carpet and I definitely think that we will see several of the looks from this collection worn. I was most taken with this floral printed poufy bustier gown which features a straight, illusion neckline with ruffled organza, a fitted bodice, and a high-low hemline and another Elie Saab devotee and young Hollywood starlet Lily Collins was the first person to pop into my mind to really bring it to life.
Givenchy: When you talk about mastering modernity meets heritage I think that Clare Waight Keller wins the award. Since she has taken over the reigns as the creative director of Givenchy from Riccardo Tisci a year ago she has really upped the game. Her collections are among the most anticipated no matter what and her celebrity following is HUGE. I waited for almost an hour to watch the livestream of this collection and not many brands can make me wait that long for a livestream. The collection mixed this glamour of 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s but not always in the most obvious ways. There were definite inspirations from old Hollywood, but also strong boundary pushing women like Katherine Hepburn and Amelia Earhart as well. The gowns were glamorous and the construction was precise. My favorite look from the collection was a perfect meshing of those two ideas with this ensemble which features silver beaded fringe top, a pair of tailored cargo trousers, and a wide industrial leather belt. @diet_prada (a favorite Instagram account) noted that the neckline and fringe details seems to be inspired by a costume that Ginger Rogers wore in the 1935 film Roberta and it definitely is, but its not a copy. Its modernizing history. A perfect example of modernizing history. Since Clare Waight Keller took over the gorgeous Rosamund Pike has been a stan for the label rocking looks for both her major red carpet moments at the Berlin Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival and I think that she would be the perfect person to bring this look to life on the red carpet.
Koché: I have long been a fan of rising Parisian based label Koché. The red carpet world is just starting to catch onto this label. It is one of the more edgy and fun brands that come down the Paris Fashion Week runways and has attracted some of those stars with edgier style like Rita Ora and Beyonce. I want to see the brand get more and more love on the red carpet and I definitely think that Marion Cotillard, who wore a catsuit from the brand to a Chopard event during the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, is a perfect person to champion the brand on the red carpet. I don’t want her to sign a contract to exclusively rep the brand, but I definitely think that this black and silver foil embroidered long sleeve catsuit is something that I think she would own on the red carpet. It is glamorous and edgy. Is is the greatest choice for her to pick another catsuit from the brand? That is unclear right now, but I think that it could be a really chic moment. Maticevski: Australian brand Maticevski has been showing in Paris for a while now. Instead of runway shows the brand opts to show in a presentation format and release a lookbook. While I usually prefer a runway show over a presentation I love that Maticevski goes against that. The looks that the brand creates are complicated in the most beautiful way and when a model is quickly walking a runway the details can get lost or even look messy. I fell in LOVE with this black and white ‘Belladonna’ one-shoulder gown which is made from chantilly lace with a subtle ruffle shoulder and high side slit the moment I flipped to the look on my phone. This just might be my favorite gown from all of the Spring 2019 RTW collections no matter what city. It is that dramatic glamour that the brand is known for and I know someone will snatch it up for the red carpet. Nicole Kidman isn’t usually the first person I think of when I think of Maticevski, but sometimes the Australian actress likes to represent Australian designers and I really do think that the statuesque beauty would really be able to sell this gown to me on a red carpet.
Mugler: In an unexpected exit late last year former creative director David Koma left Mugler to focus on his eponymous label. Casey Cadwallader was put at the helm of Mugler in January after working for labels including Acne Studios, Narciso Rodriguez, TSE, and Loewe. This is the first time that Cadwallader has been in total control and Spring 2019 RTW was the first runway show that he has produced for the house. The Mugler under Cadwallader is very different than Koma, but still features that same edgy spirit. The brand went from more of a glamorous and red carpet take on edge to a more streetwear direction. We’ve already seen Cardi B wearing a look from this collection, for the presentation in fact, and I definitely think that we will see a lot more of these looks in coming weeks and months. Rihanna has worn several vintage Thierry Mugler looks in the past, but we haven’t seen her wearing anything from the brand hot off the runway. I would love to see that change with her rocking this white ensemble which features a parachute style taffeta jacket (worn as a top) and a pair of high rise spiral straight-leg jeans. It screams her sidewalk style and I really do believe that she would be the queen of the sidewalk runway in this ensemble.
Off-White: One of my favorite labels to see come down the runway anymore is Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh. He is a real genius of design and collaboration. His latest collection has already gotten the Beyonce seal of approval when she rocked a statement gown from the collection for her final stop on the On The Run II tour. To be completely honest I was planning on featuring that gown on this list, but since Bey grabbed it I don’t think we will see anyone else bring it to life on the red carpet. However there are still plenty of options for stars to bring to the red carpet. This season Virgil was all about meshing glamour and sportswear. Honestly that isn’t anything new for him, but it was the first season that we really saw both sports and glamour in the same looks. That is exactly what we got in this white one shoulder sports bra top gown which features a draped one-shoulder silhouette, ruched bodice, tulle accents, a maxi length hem, and a dramatic train. I did keep the same star in mind for this gown that I did with the gown that Beyonce ultimately wore and that is Zendaya. She is definitely one of the very few who could really sell this gown to me on a red carpet. It definitely reads more editorial (can anyone say Serena Williams on the cover of VOGUE?) but I think that Zendaya would add the grace and femininity to this gown for the red carpet. Rochas: When it comes to heritage houses Rochas is one of the more underrated ones out there. It has been around since 1925 and has been helmed by the likes of Olivier Theyskens and Marco Zanini. Currently the brand is designed by Alessandro Dell’Acqua (whose own label No. 21 is also a favorite of mine) and I am usually obsessed with what he sends down the runway. This collection was no different. I loved the collection on the runway but my appreciation for it grew even more when I checked out the collection on ModaOperandi. Unfortunately I don’t think we will see much of this collection on the red carpet just because Rochas doesn’t get a whole lot of love on the red carpet. Naomi Watts does wear a lot of Rochas and I think that she would look so incredibly lovely wearing this blush pink ‘Onward’ one-shoulder ostrich feather trimmed dress which features a draped bodice with a cinched waist, black ribbon detail on the shoulder, and an A-line embellished skirt.
Sacai: When it comes to great fashion brands that get almost 0 love on the red carpet you can firmly put Sacai in that category. Designed by Japanese designer Chitose Abe the brand brings bold prints, modern style, and breaks down the lines between casual and formal clothing. The brand sells so it doesn’t really need celebrity influence to make more sales, but I definitely think that the great clothes that Abe sends down the runway deserve to be worn on majorly public platforms. I went back and forth on whether or not to feature this bold floral silk dress which features an asymmetrical bodice and flowing a-line asymmetrical skirt on this list because of the fact that, but I fell in love with the though of Alicia Vikander wearing this gown on a red carpet and I decided that it was better to put it out there now because I most likely will never get the opportunity to put this on any other wish list.
Saint Laurent: I can’t believe it but we are at my final wish of my favorite looks from the Spring 2019 RTW collections. It comes from another legacy house, Saint Laurent. I want to go back to an idea I brought up when talking about Celine. Back in 2012 when Heidi Slimane took over the reigns at Saint Laurent, dropping the Yves, and turned the style of the house on its head I should have known that we would most likely never return to what the house was. Slimane made the Saint Laurent woman this edgy rocker chick and that was cemented when Anthony Vaccarello was chosen as his successor. While Vaccarello didn’t restore the label to what it was prior to Slimane he has done a better job of making me really love what comes down the Saint Laurent runway. Season after season I find myself obsessed with his collections, even if the shows themselves can be very repetitive. The shows take two parts the “main” collection and the “finale” collection. This black and silver ensemble which features a metallic thread silver double breasted blazer, a black chiffon top with dramatic cuffed sleeves, and a pair of leather shorts is the perfect meshing of the ‘Le Smoking’ history of Yves and the rocker sense that Slimane brought to YSL. It is classic, edgy, sexy, and glamorous all wrapped into one package. It isn’t the most obvious choice for Taylor Swift, but I think it would be the perfect look for her new persona.
So there you have it my 15 favorite looks that came down the Paris Fashion Week runways for Spring 2019 RTW. Which ones do you want to see on the red carpet and who do you want to see bring it to life? Don’t forget to check out the lists for New York, London, and Milan fashion weeks as well!