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Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 Highlights--Photos & Runway Video: Alexander McQueen, Dior, YSL and Louis Vuitton!!

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McQueen Warrior Goddesses, Sailor Girlfriends, YSL Cigarette Girls and Vuitton Asianas
Ombré Queen: Fan-pleated, dip-dyed and twisted organza gown, Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2011:
Office Diva: Fitted suit with feathered collar, Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
As we know, after the untimely passing of designer Alexander McQueen 9 months ago, his right hand, Sarah Burton was in charge of following in his creative genius footsteps. Burton had already been actually designing the line--along with Alexander McQueen for a while so it was a good guess that there wouldn't be a "Design Earthquake" occurring with this or any near-future collection.
Butch McQueen: Pant suit with gold embroidered leaf detail, Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
Spring/Summer 2011 was the first full runway show outing for Burton and by all accounts, it was a sublime outing. All the looks were VERY McQueen: The sexy, strong corseted dresses, the bold, whimsical yet mysterious prints, the Nouveau-Renaissance Warrior Goddess suiting, powerful shoes, and almost Angel-like gowns...
High-Low: White gown from Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
There was a flora-and-fauna disposition throughout the collection, from the pheasant-feathered skirts to leather leaves, golden wheat sheath dresses and raffia-covered brocades.
Kaleidoscopic: Printed fit-and-flare cocktail dress, Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
There's plenty here for McQueen Muse--and beer heiress--Daphne Guinness to like, as well as Young Hollywood Starlets, the likes of Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley to wear on the red carpet. Designer Sarah Burton has big shoes to fill, but if this collection is any indication, she's on the right path. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2011 Runway Show:
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2011:
Shipwrecked: White parka, Polynesian-inspired printed dress and black booties with white scrunchie socks, Dior Spring 2011
Ahoy Sailor! Yep, for Spring 2011 John Galliano's Dior girl is waiting for her sailor boyfriend to return home. Either that, or the Dior girl is his mistress at one of his many port towns. Now, he wouldn't be just a Sailor if she could afford Dior. And she wouldn't just be any girlfriend or mistress: She would be a very EXPENSIVE one. Models stomped the catwalk in sailor hats and ultra feminine frocks constructed from silk chiffon, crepe and georgette. Colorful "island" prints dominated. The hairstyles were definitely Retro as well: Bangs and turned under dos, very Betty Paige Pin-Up.
Calendar Pin Up: Model Chanel Iman works these printed shorts and twist-knot blouse, Dior Spring 2011
Of course, the clothes were great but the stars, were the accessories. Most fashion insiders know that Fashion Houses like Dior only make their money in purses, sunglasses, shoes and perfumes (for the most part). Here were two of my faves from this collection:
The highest leather Bootie pumps featuring Espadrille-like heels, buckles and "scrunchie socks" were so chic.....
And this royal blue Lady Dior patent leather bag will be a must-have for any Sailor's girlfriend with an extra $2500 in her--or her man's--checking account.
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2011 Runway Show (DO NOT MISS John Galliano's end-of-the-show walk!):
Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2011:
Le Smoking 2011: Danish Model Freja Beha Erichsen in a black center-front slit gown, YSL Spring 2011
During this past Spring 2011 Fashion Week Season, so many designers--Jason Wu and Marc Jacobs to name a few, were inspired by the Master, Yves Saint Laurent. I think a lot had to do with this Summer's YSL Retrospective in Paris. I was lucky enough to have gone and yes, it was AMAZING!
Ready for my Cointreau Digestif: Aquamarine printed silk dress, YSL Spring 2011
So, since YSL was in the "air", it was up to the actual designer for the House of Yves Saint Laurent, Stefano Pilati, to really show everyone how it's done. And he did. It was an "Homage to the Master"--with plenty of transparency, flounces and ruffles, strong tailoring and even some ensembles resembling the iconic "Le Smoking".
Olé: Strapless ruffled black and fuchsia belted dress, YSL Spring 2011
But at the same time, Pilati brought the YSL woman to this decade, modernized her a little bit and added very directional pieces that she would love. I'm sure Monsieur Yves was smiling up in Heaven. YSL Spring/Summer 2011 Runway Show:
Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2011
Like Dior, Louis Vuitton is one of those Fashion Houses that makes its bread-and-butter not on the clothes but on it's purses, luggage and sunglasses (to name just a few). I certainly got it when I visited the Paris flagship on the Champs Elysees over the Summer and saw the massive throngs of people BUYING EVERYTHING on the first and second purse-and-luggage floors. The clothing area, alas, was empty.
But Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs has the envious job of having the luxury to push the boundaries of fashion with each new collection. For Spring 2011, he decided to go to the Far East. This makes sense since that's where the new, much-sought after Luxury Goods client is living. But it could be argued as to why a Millionaire's wife in Shanghai would want to dress up like she's in costume? Irregardless, there was lots of Asiana references as seen above.
There was also lots of transparency and high slits to you-know-where. It was a bold, colorful and a visually entertaining collection. Jacobs also got some Top Supermodels of the past to WORK the runway including a red-haired Carmen Kass, as well as Alek Wek (seen above).
and Kristen McMenamy (above) who ended the show in high-waisted black satin trousers and a zebra-print jersey top. Attagurl!
Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2011 Runway Show:

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