This Wednesday, nine very hot days of fashion in Paris came to an end. The Fashion Week, presenting the trends for the summer season 2012, took place during wonderful summer weather with temperatures up to 30 degrees and showed an eclectic mix of elegance, sexyness and new purism. After having abandoned the event center Carrousel du Louvre, more and more fashion houses chose smaller locations causing seating problems. More than one time, guests couldn’t attend the show because the location was overcrowded. This season, seven new designers had their debut such as See by Chloé, Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Cacharel, Paco Rabanne, Balmain, Sonia Rykiel. The big question regarding who will follow John Galliano at Dior, hasn’t been answered yet.

Like in former seasons, Paris complements the trend barometer with new highlights. Whereas flowers were in the focus in New York and also in Milan, designers in the French capital bet on graphical patterns and very often shining textures of fabrics. Especially Hermès, Carven, Commuun Gareth Pugh, Sonia Rykiel, Lutz, Limi Feu, Barbara Bui and also Balenciaga were going for graphics. Balenciaga remains true to its reputation for the most fashion-forward collection. Again Nicolas Ghesquière used fabrics unusual for fashion and silhouettes never seen before. Women’s Wear Daily even claims that the French designer has invented a new fit for jeans, which is nearly impossible.

Besides this one-shot futuristic approach of a new style, elegance returned with power on the catwalks. Brands like Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Givenchy or Dior showed well-tailored dresses and feminine coats and skirts. Very often, a skinny waistline competed against volume and an accentuated hip.

The minimalistic group around Rick Owens, Damir Doma, Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester, Thimister, AF Vandevorst and its more feminine outcome as by Celine, Akris, Hermès under the new director Christophe Lemaire or Haider Ackermann stayed clean in their silhouettes and color choice. White and black remain to be the two most important colors. Moreover, shades of terracotta and a bright yellow play an important role. Floating cut-lines, often formed with long skirts or full-length dresses, are made out of a plenitude of fabrics, as seen by Damir Doma or Haider Ackermann.

A romantic and very feminine, nearly girlish style composed by nice dresses out of lace or organza, were seen on the catwalk shows by Valentino, Nina Ricci, Giambattista Valli, Alexis Mabille, Cacharel. Balmain, Hakaan, harry halim, Anthony Vaccarello completely fulfilled their sexy reputation with ribbon dresses close to the body and big cut-outs.

In addition to this four style groups, some themes were very common on catwalks in Paris: Glossy and shinning fabrics are a big trend, as is lace (Valentino, Giambattista Valli), sportswear-inspired applications out of mesh (Stella McCartney, Kenzo) and zippers (Felipe Oliveira Baptista). Paisley patterns are coming back (Stella McCartney, Viktor &Rolf). Furthermore, prints often showed botanic motives (Dries van Noten, Guy Laroche). Cut-outs, the big theme of this summer, were further developed. Fringes often replaced ornament-like decorations out of stones or embroidery (Anne Demeulemeester, Peachoo Krejberg, Alexis Mabille).

Besides the eventful catwalk calendar, a half dozen of fashion fairs, presentations plus store openings (Dsquared, Heschung) and parties completed the nine days of fashion in Paris.