I've noticed that I have been mindlessly tuning into fashion week less and less for the collections and more for the genius stylings of Emanuelle Alt. Part of the Paris Vogue dream team and consultant/mastermind at Balmain, she mixes Gap with Gucci for what I find to be the most aspirational dressing of the past two years. It's androgynous grunge meets Parisian chic, and her blend of shrunken tuxedo & biker jackets with skinny leather jeans or dhoti pants is perfectly adaptable into anyone's wardrobe. I'm already halfway out the door today to find a Minnetonka black ankle boot that will resemble her heeled Balmain pair.
Emmanuelle, like the most stylish of French women, is an intellectual, ironic, sexually liberated smoker who listens to rock but secretly dreams of dancing at Studio 54. She has a knack for blending the sexual gloss of disco with the clean-face bedhead nonchalance of rock and roll. A little bit of the 70's and a lot of the modern. Parisian houses such as Balmain and Givenchy hit these notes to wondrous results, and I have to say that 2009 looks like a financially disastrous year for me with the launching of menswear at both houses.