Paris Fashion Week SS17: Let's Hear it For The Girls

Girls, girls, girls

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Clare Waight Keller, Isabel Marant, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Bouchra Jarrar, Phoebe Philo, Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo… when was the last time we saw so many women leading the women's wear calendar in Paris?

From fashion to politics, it's been a big year for women bosses. And in many ways, the spring/summer 2017 season has been one big celebration of womanhood, in all its shapes and forms. Here are some of the strongest from Day 4.

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Balmain's glamour girl

In a way, Kim Kardashian, sitting front row in racy, lacy knits, face contoured to the Gods, set the tone for the collection.

We expect sex, glamour and an army of Kardashians from Balmain. And on that front, Olivier Rousteing didn't disappoint.

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But the collection did contribute a few talking points to the spring/summer '17 conversation, the biggest being the rise of crochet knits. Historically a thing of beach wear and bad boho clichés, it's emerged as a recurring thread on the spring runways.

Rousteing presented it as an option for evening in multicoloured body-con dresses that looked like exactly the sort of thing that could trickle down to the high street and onto the backs of all those girls in the world who aspire to look like Kim K.

Chloé's girl's girl

'That's the woman I want to be,' an editor said as we all walked out of the Chloé show. And the thought pretty much sums up what the Chloé girl has become during the years Creative Director Clare Waight Keller has led the brand: cool, without being unapproachable; fashionable, without being try-hard; and romantic without being too soft. In many ways Keller's spring collection epitomized the spirit of the brand. It was breezy, wearable and chic, filled with clothes that won't complicate your life.

Chloe SS17

Take, for instance, her whimsical blouson tops and trousers; they give you a definite fashion look, while being easy and practical enough to navigate the world in — whether that be a crowded rush-hour commute, a quiet office or a busy fashion week.

Chloe SS17

Meanwhile her interpretation of florals (folksy and vintage-looking here) and frills (pleated with shorter hemlines) had just the right amount of sweetness without going into toothache territory.

Isabel Marant's girl crush

And just as Chloé embodied all of its trademark qualities, Marant's latest collection was peak Marant in that it signalled a return to that sense of French girl cool that's so core to her brand.

Isabel Marant SS17

She showed youthful, upbeat takes on some of the season's big ideas: swingy dresses with handkerchief hemlines and shorter variations in arts and crafty florals or sexy frills.

Isabel Marant SS17

It was her strongest collection in several seasons, mostly because it looked so energetic, contemporary and wearable (three things we look to Marant for.) And the fact that the show was straightforward, free of major headlines and elaborate backstories, was a huge part of the appeal: these were great clothes on a cast of top models (Arizona Muse, Edie Campbell, Imaan Hammam, Doutzen Kroes, Selena Forrest, Gigi Hadid...) If Chloé was the woman you want to be, this was the girl crush you want to have drinks with.

Isabel Marant SS17

Carven's Insta girl

If the Chloé girl was all easy wardrobing, Carven was a little more complicated.

That's mostly because a lot of the clothes seemed to have one element too many (buckles and loose straps on a cropped jacket worn over a longer lace skirt worn over an opaque one for example), like the Insta star posting loud 'lewks' for likes.

Carven SS17

Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud were named Creative Directors last March, so it's only been a year. And yet it still feels like they're trying to find their feet at the brand. Perhaps they would benefit from trying a little less hard, and looking at what the Carven consumer actually needs and wants to wear.

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