There have been a lot of big and overpowering stories heading into Paris Fashion Week. There was the Lanvin debut (which in case you missed it, well don't worry), there was the Dior show shift making Tuesday more chocca in terms of scheduling than ever before (to go to Theyskens or Saint Laurent? That was the question!) and there's still yet to come – Clare Waight Keller's debut at Givenchy, plus the usual chatter-makers in Balenciaga and Celine, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. You get the picture. It's a crowded spot over here. So spare a thought for those names and designers who do great collections but get overshadowed by the drama – which fashion loves and Paris courts.
Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION
Step forward Aalto by Tuomas Merikoski who knows how to get that balance right between clothes and interesting clothes. You know, the sort that you wear and someone will ask where it's from? And not just to fill in the gaps in conversation. He does great clothes. You can wear them, you want to wear them – and they're interesting all at the same time. And this can be something of a rare find, oddly, in fashion. Today's collection went beyond that and drove home a theme also key to the brand, sustainability. "Our responsibility towards our planet has never been greater, and neither has our power to change it," said the show notes, which were further full of hope that indeed such a change still has time to happen. It helps, certainly, when its vehicle is a collection like this: cool easy separates spanning colourful T-shirts, overcoats and ruched tops that managed to stay the right side of voluminous, alongside dresses that riffed on Thirties styles.
Meanwhile, Jourden, the brand launched by Hong Kong-born Anais Mak in 2012, boasted plenty of elegant-pretty dresses that came with a cool tactile edge. The designer studied at Studio Berçot in Paris but finds inspiration in the formalwear of her childhood growing up in Hong Kong: cue a clever twist on the idea of prim and proper and one that certainly seems a lot more poignant now as streetwear begins to dwindle, such is its oversaturated popularity. This is a welcome respite.
Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION
And from new to established, fresh from Milan and his N°21 show – which is always a reliable highlight – Alessandro Dell'Acqua showed a beautiful Rochas collection: a jewel palette of sweeping babydoll dresses in varying lengths; tinsel-tastic tops and dresses; and florals and frills in just the right measure – they came belted with mini bags. It's his perfect balance of femininity that you almost don't realise is happening before you. It's akin to great music in a film you almost can't hear – because it just makes sense and works. Which is exactly what this collection did.