PARIS – Chanel rocketed into space Tuesday at Paris Fashion Week in an interstellar-themed show spectacular that saw designer Karl Lagerfeld reach for the stars — and a star-filled front row.
Singer-turned-fashion designer Rihanna stunned crowds in a standout citrus lime coat at her Fenty X Puma collection that channeled school-girl-gone-bad.
And Paris saw protest against a controversial new “Saint Laurent” ad campaign that rights groups say is sexist.
Here are the highlights:
CHANEL’S APOLLO NO. 5
It was a return to form for Lagerfeld Tuesday, who explored space-infused styles in a fresh-feeling collection that was the 83-year-old’s best in seasons.
Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne and Lily-Rose Depp delighted as Lagerfeld pressed the “ignition” button that saw a gargantuan Chanel “Space Agency” rocket take off inside the Grand Palais.
A round, raised-collar defined the chic aesthetic on skirt-suit styles — evoking a space-helmet neckline. While, sparkling silver and white boots merged the utilitarian astronaut-look with a chic Chanel signature — the square black toe.
Minimalist pure-white mini dresses also cleverly captured the futuristic feeling — with cosmic-embroidered clusters sparkling against black fabric — the vast fabric of space.
But beyond the smart fashion details, Lagerfeld really had some fun.
Guests starting snapping with their cameras as models wrapped in huge reflective, heat-resistant shawl-blankets strutted around the giant, ceiling-high space shuttle installation that at one point pumped out smoke, grumbling noisily.
It was Paris fashion’s Apollo No. 5.
RIHANNA GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Moving on from her more saccharine, historic Marie Antoinette looks last season, the nascent 29-year-old designer developed a little — going back to college in the scholastic Monday night show.
It was called Fenty University.
On-trend oversize nerdy glasses, long flappy scarves, huge preppy sweaters, pleated skirts and sports team uniforms were imagined in orange maroon, apple green, bright yellow and dark blue.
Caps were emblazoned with an “F,” denoting the Barbadian star’s middle name of Fenty.
#FENTYXPUMA University class of 2017. School’s out. pic.twitter.com/Jzj3kxcHNM
— FENTYXPUMA (@FENTYXPUMA) March 7, 2017
A sexual, edgy twist was provided in exposed midriffs, flesh-baring lycra shorts and one knit sports crop top with breasts peeking out. While, thigh-high laced baseball boots capped the dose of fetishistic, school-girl provocation.
Rihanna has shown critics with this more thoughtful collection that she’s growing as a designer.
But it hasn’t convinced everyone. One Twitter observer suggested the star not quit her day job, commenting acidly: “Please Don’t Stop The Music.”
PROTEST AGAINST NEW SAINT LAURENT AD
Campaigners are accusing Saint Laurent of sexism after an ad campaign was released that they say features women in degrading poses. They are demanding its withdrawal.
A French women’s rights group held a protest Tuesday in front of Saint Laurent’s Left Bank Paris boutique against the publicity campaign that shows a model in fur and fishnets opening her thighs, and another model in a leotard bending over a stool.
#AWANINews Yves Saint Laurent told to modify ad campaign after uproar in France https://t.co/oCmrNA8F0z pic.twitter.com/F7uAARGXav
— Astro AWANI (@501Awani) March 7, 2017
Advertising campaigns in France are frequently criticized for objectifying women to sell products, but this season’s Saint Laurent campaign was singled out notably because of the suggestion of violence.
French advertising authority ARPP told The Associated Press that it wrote to Saint Laurent Monday regarding the complaints it has received about the imagery.
The fashion house had no immediate comment Tuesday.
LOUIS VUITTON’S PERFECT EXECUTION
Nicolas Ghesquiere’s choice of a stone wall as the pared-down backdrop for a blank runway at the Louvre museum said it all.
This Louis Vuitton collection, bearing little relation to its palatial setting, was intended to be all about the clothes.
Colorful, patchwork fur coats mixed with belted checked jackets, electric blue pants and satin dresses with double hems in an eclectic array. Neutral, black leather riding boots were an exceptional leitmotif.
They were all perfectly executed. Indeed, there were many standout single pieces — like a delicious, white fur cape-top with an enviable mushroom silhouette.
But something seemed to lack.
Sometimes, fashion show decor is not just superfluous; it’s a sign that a designer has a muse — an artistic idea — for the collection that may not define every look, but encapsulates its spirit.
That spirit was hard to find in Tuesday’s down-to-earth display — that seemed to use the Louvre and the white, seemingly ornamental white marble sculptures just for its monumental status.
That said, Ghesquiere’s finesse made for a highly saleable ensemble, and the individual garments are sure to sell.
MONCLER GAMME ROUGE
Scandinavia was in the air at Moncler.
An autumnal forest decor with golden fallen leaves met guests at lauded designer Giambattista Valli’s illustrious Tuesday show.
And references to the styles of the northernmost reaches of Europe were ubiquitous in the wintery 48-look display.
Thick Scandinavian knits with the signature zigzags and motifs that circled the neck appeared on layered top-heavy silhouettes with short minis and woolly tights.
Knitted gloves and the famed, knitted boot-sock that helps those in the colder climates stay warm in the winter months added a fun touch to imaginative and well-executed collection. Straps on the torso evoked the braces of skiing salopettes.
Flower motifs — a Valli signature — came in purple, green and maroon.
FURRY MIU MIU
Transparent layers and bushy fur coats provided delightful contrasts at Miu Miu, the little sister house of Italian fashion icon Miuccia Prada.
VIPs and guests admired the incredible decor — an entire staircase covered in purple fur.
It nicely set the tone of the typically color-rich collection that mixed 1940s and 1950s style in that inimitable Miu Miu way.
The postwar shawl collar silhouette was imagined in vividly colored fur with cinched waists.
Exaggeratedly large hats repeated this bold palette and conjured up the large headwear of the golden age of Parisian couture in the 1950s.
Quirky was the word.