Our five favourite trends from Paris haute couture week

Gender bending, exquisite lace, florals for fall and more

Paris haute couture week is one of the most extravagant fashion events in the world. Intricate, handmade works of art that take hours upon hours to craft dominate the runways of Chanel, Dior, Versace, Giambattista Valli and other top houses.

Sure, most of these looks will never be worn by anyone other than a top model or money-packing heiress, but they’re certainly fun to watch and the event is a reminder that fashion is indeed an art. Here are some trends we spotted on the runway that you can incorporate into your wardrobe, even if you don’t have award shows and charity fundraisers to attend.

1. Florals for fall

Florals for spring will never get old, but we were surprised by optimistic, pastel-hued botanicals on the fall/winter 2015 runways of Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab, Atelier Versace and Dior. Models rocked major blossoms, sometimes in the form of 3D embellishments, in shades of baby pink and mint green. For a cheap take on the trend, simply carry some of your summer clothes into September and October with creative layering. Also add some rich red and pink hues to your makeup routine with Giambattista’s lipstick collab with MAC cosmetics.

2. Lacey little things

The nude dress trend seems set to stay a little longer, with Elie Saab, Ralph & Russo and Atelier Versace giving couch potatoes one last chance to work on those abs before see-through frocks and jaw-dropping cutouts become “so yesterday.” These aren’t the most wearable looks for non-pop stars, so instead take your cues from the more minimalistic Yiqing Yin, who outfitted models in sheer slip dresses and layered lace bralettes.

3. Say yes to the pantsuit

Kendall Jenner closed out the Chanel show in a cream coloured bridal pantsuit, complete with a chiffon train. We didn’t love the suit’s somewhat awkward fit, but can certainly appreciate Kaiser Karl’s endorsement of women tossing aside restrictive wedding dresses for something a bit more comfortable. If you’re getting married, consider ditching the bridal shop in favour of a talented local tailor.

4. Function sometimes trumps fashion

You still can’t wear your Snuggie in public. However, between a packed fashion week schedule and a scorching Paris heat wave, we were surprised how many fashion show attendees forewent street style peacocking in favour of simple summer-friendly clothes and – get this – flats! Even famously trendy socialite Olivia Palermo was spotted strutting around stiletto-free. Sometimes it’s OK to give yourself a break.

5. Gender fluidity

Haute couture does not include menswear and can be quite traditional, but John Galliano sent three male models down the runway anyhow at his first Paris show for Maison Margiela since being fired from Dior. Here’s hoping for more diverse and interesting casting in the near future (we also noticed way too many very thin, very Caucasian models this week).

sabrinam@nowtoronto.com | @sabrinamaddeaux

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