Best in shows: our favourite S/S 2014 collections shone with modern silhouettes and a pared-back palette
As the new American in Paris, Alexander Wang's second outing for Balenciaga lightens up the French house's edgier biker essentials.
Jacket; jumper, prices on request, both by Balenciaga.
Photography: Dima Hohlov; Fashion: Isabelle Kountoure
Leading the chase towards cross-season dressing, this coat and slip-dress combo epitomises the new versatility.
Coat; dress, prices on request, both by MaxMara
Kim Jones relaxed black-tie dressing, with his all-American freedom seekers sporting a new spin on the classic tuxedo in cool ice-blue (silk varsity jacket included).
Blouson, £1,850; double-breasted jacket, £1,000; shirt, £720; trousers, £1,610, all by Louis Vuitton. Trainers, £79, by Adidas Originals
Blossoming with a botanical bent, Kane’s game of hide-and-seek ran the garden gamut, from laser-cut petals to his predominantly pastel palette.
Dress, £4,000, by Christopher Kane
The New York-based design duo used metallic inserts to rev up the subtle sensuality of their stellar, pleated performance.
Dress, £1,985, by Proenza Schouler
Hedi Slimane proved that the devil, and even a little disco, is in the detail, with his heavily encrusted, couture-weight finishes polishing his evening offering.
Dress, £8,265, by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane
Marrying luxe fabrications with classic cuts is Hermès’ calling card, so for designer Véronique Nichanian’s 25th anniversary, the refined pairings continued with precious python skins holidaying as a simple boat-neck tee.
Top, £14,100, by Hermès
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture
For his debut collection, Stefano Pilati played with proportion, rethinking the jacket from its collar-buttoning to its lapel widths, while also igniting a trend for exaggerated sleeve lengths.
Coat, £2,120; jumper, price on request; trousers, £680, all by Ermenegildo Zegna Couture
Calvin Klein Collection
Francisco Costa’s milestone, ten-year anniversary explored the full potential of luxurious minimalism, from tactile silk T-shirts to the elaborate basket weave of his deconstructed fabrics.
Top, £1,130; trousers, £1,580, both by Calvin Klein Collection
A pixelated flower print united the organic and digital worlds at Fendi, which saw Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Fendi’s lightweight coat of laser-cut mink, floating on a base of organza.
Coat, £16,450, by Fendi
Rome via London, this was Englishman Brendan Mullane’s ode to Italy’s neo-realist cinema, relaxing the suit’s formality with gentlemanly checks, short-sleeve knitwear and silken bomber jackets.
Jacket, £2,650, by Brioni
Interrupting the traditional house narrative, Raf Simons’ hyper-reality ‘Trans Dior’ collection called for a slightly surreal Through the Looking-Glass approach, with knit dresses bonded to stiff internal structures and his pleated shorts easily mistaken for skirts.
Dress, £2,300; shorts, £2,500, both by Dior
Pushing the storied Italian house forward, Massimiliano Giornetti’s deconstructed suiting toyed with a sportif sexiness, from asymmetric pleated kilts to abbreviated knitwear.
Top, £725; skirt, £489, both by Salvatore Ferragamo. ‘Fold’ chair, €1,990, by Olivier Grégoire, from Specimen Editions
For his brand’s tenth birthday, the London-based designer offered a rose-coloured view of the future with his diaphanous pastel-pink layers mimicking the show’s bubble-gum hued benches.
Dress, £625, by Richard Nicoll
Alber Elbaz’s molten metallics for spring were gift-wrapped with a high-shine shimmer. The collection was an ode to the inventiveness of the fabric industry, with tactile textures from lamé to Lurex.
Dress, £2,410, by Lanvin
Comme des Garçons
Rei Kawakubo’s deconstructed tailoring spoke of an iron-free summer ahead – her crumpled patchwork jackets turned inside out, while trousers were similarly scrunched.
Jacket, €918; top, €382; trousers, €370, all by Comme des Garçons
Models: Josephine van Delden at Women Management Paris, Tommaso at Tomorrow Is Another Day; Casting: Eddy Martin for File and Parade; Hair: Peter Gray for L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise; Hair assistant: Takayuki Shibata; Make-up: Ariel Yeh using NARS cosmetics and Clarins skincare; Set design: Sylvain Cabouat at Michele Filomeno