The 2013 Paris Fashion Week (Spring/Summer) ended on 24 January with an explosion of colour and inspiration from cultures across the world. And the leading lights were Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier and the house of Valentino.
Lebanese designer Saab delivered a graceful and elegant collection inspired from 19th century crinoline. The Washington Post called it a "fairy-tale" like creation but also suggested the clothes remained true to Saab's trademark - fitted high-waists and long feminine gowns in powdery sumptuous silk.
Saab's 2013 Spring/Summer collection explored the idea of transparency, using lighter shades like ivory and light blue, with black crinoline adding the "fairy-tale" element.
Gaultier, meanwhile, had shades of the mystic East in his creations... although it was perhaps more a case of colourful exuberance than an irreverent nod. The Washington Post speculated on inspiration from Ang Lee's big-budget blockbuster film Life of Pi and the Pondicherry locale.
Also present on the final day were Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, from the house of Valentino, whose collection drew broad inspiration from summer gardens across the world.
"It is the idea that the garden is part of our lives - and each culture has a different space. Not just about beauty but about living better," the duo told The New York Times, whose report lavished praise on a collection of "intense handwork and subtle restraint".
The metaphor of the cage ran through much of the Valentino creations, situating the idea behind the collection in a Secret Garden-like space, from within which emerged both the physical and abstract concept of layers - growth and evolution through stages of realisation - and also that of space itself... secret space, swirls of it, in fact.
Oscar Carvalho was also on show in Paris on the final day, with his creation described as the "clash of mermaids and warriors". Carvalho seemed to draw inspiration from the idea of movement as something more than just transference... as something seen as the flow of matter through space. And the metallic colours in evidence joined hands with that very feminine notion of flow to evoke an attention-grabbing collection.
Check out photographs of Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier and the house of Valentino, among other designers, at the Spring/Summer show for the Paris Fashion Week 2013