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Paris Fashion Week – Practical or Unrealistic?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

Having taken a look through the runway collections of some of the best-known designers featured at Paris Fashion Week, I have come to the conclusion that designers are simply out of touch with what normal people will dare to wear.

Elie Saab

There are beautiful pieces on offer in many of the spring 2017 collections, of that I have no doubt. Take this exquisite metallic blue gown, courtesy of Elie Saab. This dress is undeniably chic, and I’m sure many of us would kill to be able to go out looking like this. That being said, how many of us could claim to be invited to the kind of event that this dress would be appropriate for? Most likely very few. The same goes for this elegant white Valentino ensemble, a stunning blend of modern and vintage fashion. Yet once again, when would us normal ladies ever have the opportunity to wear such an outfit? I dare to say that if I or one of my friends were to venture out in dresses like these, we would look ridiculous; these dresses, whilst dazzling, are simply too much for the laid-back fashion of the modern world.


However… Perhaps I am being too harsh? These gowns are not targeted at normal folks like us, who do not attend fashion events or movie premieres weekly; they are meant for the rich and the famous, who live in a fantasy world of glitz and glamour that most of us can only dream of. Nonetheless, there are some pieces on the runways not meant for the red carpet, and yet are still utterly impractical.


I cannot comprehend why anyone would think this outfit, from the Balenciaga collection, was a good idea. This raincoat is entirely irrational – I would like the use of my arms, please and thank you. I understand that in order to make an impression sometimes fashion must come before comfort but this outfit is truly hideous. The particularly horrific hue of the jacket implies it was designed to be transparent but has somehow become stained – I expect this from raincoats that have had a few years of wear, not straight off the runway. And by pairing it with the gaudy, multi-coloured boots, a look is created which is more evocative of an outfit I’d throw on to go to the shop on a rainy morning rather than high fashion. No wonder the model looks so sombre.


On a more positive note, this outfit, courtesy of Chanel, would not usually be to my taste but I think it actually works beautifully. It’s cute without being overbearing or trying too hard – a problem regularly encountered on the runway – and the pale pink of the dress really complements the old-school style jacket.  And yet…I just cannot imagine myself wearing something similar. The jacket suggests workplace, yet this outfit is entirely inappropriate for a professional environment. Unless you’re working in fashion or enjoy making a statement in your everyday outfit choices that is, in which case go for it. But for the 99% of the population who don’t have this confidence, this outfit is sadly off the cards.

Stella McCartney

And then there is Stella McCartney – thank you for giving me some hope among the fashion failures dotting the runways of Paris. This outfit is everything you want it to be: sleek, the perfect mix of smart and casual, and, most importantly, something a regular woman could wear on the street and not attract frowns and second glances. The stylish shirt and trousers combination, paired with the simple shoes, creates an on-trend look that is ideal for the modern woman. Unlike the creations above, this is an outfit I could imagine myself wearing; it is sleek and stylish whilst avoiding the fashion pitfall of being too eccentric for the ordinary person. Impeccable.

So, a plea to the others designers – make clothes for every-day women. Not outfits that are designed to look good only on a runway or a mannequin, but outfits that women can wear outside while not feeling like a failed fashion experiment. Not that I can afford any of these clothes anyway at the moment, but it’s nice to dream!

Edited by: Sarah Holmes


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I am a first year English student, and I hope to pursue a career in journalism once I finish my studies. I'm also hoping to spend some time studying abroad, and would like to use this opportunity to learn a language. In my free time I enjoy reading, doing yoga and listening to music.
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