During Paris Fashion Week, Racil Chalhoub’s showroom space in her spacious suite overlooking the Tuileries Gardens was lined with clothing racks. In the span of three seasons since the launch of her brand, Racil, Chalhoub has more or less tripled her offering. Each season, the silhouettes and palettes get an update, and if Spring 2016 will be remembered for those Miami sunset-hued jackets and slinky satin slip dresses (snapped up by MatchesFashion.com), Fall 2016 offers something of a more conservative route (don’t let the campaign images fool you). Tuxedo dressing was never about the big skin reveal; rather, its appeal lies in its mystery: a dinner jacket oozes confidence, and women are gravitating towards this style of dress as a new form of subdued, statement dressing.
But don’t mistake Chalhoub’s “subdued” for boring. Fall 2016’s number one trend—velvet —was the star highlight (even though the constellation patterns were vying for everyone’s attention). Next came the main accouterments, which Chalhoub purported to be embellishments borrowed from 1920s menswear styles; but there was no mistaking that these knotted rosebud fastenings in fact originate from traditional Chinese dress. Here, we saw a slight misstep: this type of accouterment would have worked better on an elongated silhouette, as opposed to the wide-leg, ankle-grazing pant Chalhoub proposed with XL hem. A woman chooses a tuxedo to stand tall, and these silhouettes at times came across as boxy, while the rosebud details drew the eye right to the waistline, and not the overall line and fall of the jacket. Instead, for Fall 2016, we’ll be gunning for those velvet minis and plush robes—timeless pieces for women serious about having their sartorial dots aligned.