The early part of Paris Fashion Week has seen a few designers playing it safe by feting their well earned anniversaries as part of a celebratory show.
Maison Martin Margiela added fuel to speculation among the fashion media that the designer may hang up his mysterious creative persona at the house (bought by Diesel's Renzo Rosso five years ago) by sending out a retrospective collection celebrating 20 years of MMM. The collection was pure Margiela and of course was largely put together by his talented team. As Maria Luisa told me at her new boutique launch later on this week: "Martin is an exceptional designer and I have been a big fan of his work since he started out - but now he has reached a stage where he can do what he wants - his fashion house is in very capable hands and for an artist such as himself I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to pursue other creative avenues. It's a loss to the industry but after selling your business, well you would try something new wouldn't you?"
Meanwhile British designers Mark Eley and Wakiko Kishimoto showed their second collection for French house Cacharel with a lavish show celebrating the label's 50th anniversary. The first half of the presentation was full of models who paraded in easy, breezy summer dresses and pyjama-style slacks in upbeat shades of mustard, turquoise and purple, some featuring printed or crocheted motifs of migrating birds for a retro tinge. Then, in a surprise finale, dozens of models emerged in the label's vintage Liberty floral print cotton shirts and dresses, before taking a bow with 76-year-old founder Jean Bousquet. "We wanted a show with a newness, a new direction of the next 50 years with us as a starting point, and also to celebrate and embrace the need and desire for the vintage aspect of the fashion world, so they can live in harmony," Eley said after the show.
And surely the most elevating 'feel-good' moment of the week has to be care of Sonia Rykiel or more specifically her daughter - Nathalie - who helped her mother celebrate 40 years in the business with a show at the Park of Saint Cloud. The rampant show was full of Rykiel classics such as striped lurex sweaters and slinky silky dresses - true Gallic charm and gamine chic. And in a surprise gesture Nathalie had invited a handful of designer friends (Paris family really) including John Paul Gaultier, Martin Margiela, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Charles de Castalbajac to create homage designs to the iconic Left Bank designer. How sweet is the knit-it-yourself-while-wearing dress by JPG and the red fringed hair and face print dress by JCDC. Ahh tres chic and bon anniversaire indeed.