If we look to Paris for the best in fashion, we must also hold those who show here to a slightly higher standard. While that may not be especially fair, given the global industry that is fashion, someone has to set a bar for excellence, create a standard at least for the sake of comparison if not judgement. One of the frequent criticisms being heard this season is that a number of designers are playing it safe. We’ve not see anyone taking serious risks or really stepping toward the edge, let alone actually pushing it. We come to Paris in hopes that, perhaps, here we will see that bright new spark that has been missing in this season.

Sorry, Pascal Millet doesn’t have it. In fact, not only is there not a spark here, I’m pretty sure the wood is wet. Tossing a ball cap on the same designs and silhouettes we’ve seen for several seasons doesn’t count as innovation. The floral print is really cool, but that’s not enough to get one excited about a collection. I understand that Pascal is going for refinement and elegance in his designs, but he misses that mark this season and the only word to describe what just came down this catwalk this afternoon is boring.

I”m not saying the collection isn’t pretty. I’ll even go so far as to say probably 80 percent of the collection is wearable. Some of the first looks to come down the runway were even cute. While the collection is wearable, however, and even attractive to some degree, it doesn’t make them different enough to really stand out and be something one is anxious about adding to their wardrobe.

Well, there is one element here that stands out. Pascal attaches a very large, very glittery, 3D flower to several of his pieces. Some are in black (frequently on black ensembles) and others are gold. The black pieces almost blend into the clothes, unless one is in relatively close proximity to the dress, and that’s not a bad thing. Being understated is, in this case, a positive attribute. What’s troubling are the pieces done in a very brassy gold tone. Sure, they stand out, but not in a good way. They sit most frequently on the hip or right at the waist line and rather than compliment or accentuate the natural form of that placement, the aesthetic is more like that of a rabid squirrel attacking the dress. The flowers just don’t fit the designs.

Combine the miss on the flowers with a couple of other ill-thought concepts, such as the white dresses that look more like shredded bed sheets, and this Pascal Millet collection is sadly disappointing for a designer who has generated some really great and elegant pieces in the past. One hopes this is a rare off season for the designer, and not a harbinger of things to come for the remainder of the week.

Photo credit: Gio  Staiano

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