Sportswear permeated the spring/summer 2016 womenswear collections of Chloe, Carven and Paco Rabanne on the Paris catwalks Thursday, while Balmain unashamedly celebrated sexy women.
Chloe’s hippie sportswear
Chloe mixed a long floaty skirt studded with small flowers and a two-colour tracksuit top, or wide black pants with sleeveless t-shirts.
The label’s British artistic director Clare Waight Keller also paired jogging pants with zipneck tops, and — for a more feminine look — matched the same trousers with sleeveless tops or a white transparent blouse.
American actress Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, seemed to approve from her front-row seat.
Sporty lingerie at Paco Rabanne
Over at Paco Rabanne, sportswear was thrown into the mix with lingerie, best illustrated by a slipdress with a form of suspenders attached — the effect was of a 1950s swimming costume.
Wide trousers were in evidence here too, complete with zipped pockets. Paco Rabanne’s lingerie was very much on show, with a bra highly visible under a very low-cut little black dress.
Designer Julien Dossena also rolled out the biker look, with leather tops and mini-dresses, but he returned to Paco Rabanne’s emblematic metallic dresses in light and fluid styles.
At the helm since 2013, Frenchman Dossena has breathed new life into the storied label founded by Paco Rabanne in the 1960s. Now owned by Catalan group Puig, it is due to open its first freestanding store in Paris in January, near to the Chanel store in the fashion heart of the French capital.
It marks a revival of fortunes for the label — after Paco Rabanne himself gave up the reins in 1999, it veered through a range of styles and temporarily shut down its fashion business before returning to the catwalks in 2011.
Carven: Sportswear from the deep
Designer duo Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud clearly had an underwater adventure in mind for their second collection for Carven — the diving suit inspired sleeveless tops and zipped jackets worn with high-wasted trousers.
“You find sport everywhere these days. We like to take small details and tease them out to create something that is really wearable,” Martial said.
Trousers were already a large part of the duo’s first collection and clearly they have become a fixture in the Carven stable, despite being rarely seen in the label’s offering before then.
“This is really a signature style that we want to put in place at Carven,” Caillaudaud said.
In a fresh-looking range, there were also plenty of mini-shorts, mini-skirts and variations on the theme of striped men’s shirts and pleated skirts.
Balmain’s sexy-and-proud-of-it woman
At Balmain, Olivier Rousteing stayed loyal to his glamorous and sophisticated style, with dresses both long and ultra-short, often cut close to the body. Trousers, culottes and bra-tops were all designed to show off curves.
In leather or wool, in black, white, beige and brown, the collection fulfilled the 29-year-old designer’s wish to “play with a woman’s body, its contours and its movement”.