PARIS — Boundless ideas with 80s daring were the expansive spirit of Stella McCartney’s accomplished collection at Paris Fashion Week. The acid styles had some front-row celebrities recalling their heady youth as they tapped their heels to the music.
Here are some highlights of Monday’s spring-summer 2018 Paris Fashion Week shows:
STELLA MCCARTNEY TAKES ON THE ’80S
British-American designer McCartney slashed a bubblegum pink disco-debutante dress in taffeta at the bottom — giving it a surreal shrunken effect — and paired it with billowing pants that make the model’s legs disappear.
It was deceptively simple, like many of the 39 looks in the fastidiously-constructed display Monday in Paris. A loose green silk gown was jazzed up with a visually-kinetic African print of microphone and all held in place by a single shoulder ruffle.
Elsewhere, the unadulterated — and intentionally — bad taste of the ’80s was in vogue.
An over-dyed washed jumpsuit, in a denim series, came in acid green that gave one particular guest a feeling of deja-vu.
“There were some throwbacks to me, to the ’80s. Acid green and yellow denim. I’m sure I had a jacket that color,” said singer Kylie Minogue, 49, who first found fame in that decade of fashion excess.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI’S TOP AND BOTTOM
Could Italian couturier Giambattista Valli be fashion’s answer to a body-sawing magician?
Valli created a fun spring collection which, in myriad looks, spliced the body in two from the top to the bottom with distinct or contrasting styles.
The buttoned-up feel of a knitted gray scholastic tank top and striped shirt contrasted stylishly with a black sheer skirt that exposed the leg, adult-style. Valli also cleverly used an exposed midriff as a border separating a floral black and gray print vest top from the silken ochre skirt beneath, with a sensual black lace underskirt peeping out.
The spliced-musing was only part of the show that blossomed into the flower-loving designer’s signature floral printed silk gowns. And the skirt ruffles that Valli fashioned higher at the front beautifully encased the models’ legs in an oval shape like a showpiece.
RARE APPEARANCE BY SEINFELD
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, a relative stranger to the fashion industry, found time to fly in to Paris for the Stella McCartney show.
The comedian, who’s been friends with the fashion designer for several years, joked that he might use the foibles of the industry as new material for his comedy.
“Of course, I can use anything I want. Always taking notes,” he told The Associated Press.
The 63-year-old rocked the front row in a dapper suit jacket and stylish glasses, alongside Minogue, British singer Ellie Goulding and the U.S. singing group Haim.
Seinfeld, who’s “always busy,” said he was happy to open up his archives for Netflix’s one-hour special called “Jerry before Seinfeld.”
“People are enjoying it, so it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s my first time on this platform.”
FIGURES VOICE SUPPORT FOR FIGHT AGAINST UNHEALTHY MODELS
Since Oct 1., French fashion giants LVMH and Kering have stopped hiring excessively thin models and now require models to provide medical certificates to prove they are healthy before they can work.
The move aims to protect models’ health and garnered praise from figures at the Kering-owned Stella McCartney show, including the designer herself.
“The community in fashion needs to look after these young women … whether that be their emotional health, their mental health or their physical health,” McCartney told The Associated Press.
“It’s a fantastic thing,” said Minogue. “It also makes sense if you have a doctor’s note as some girls are naturally that small, that tiny, therefore they are not unwell.”
The French law initially included a minimum body mass index requirement, but it was removed after lawmakers deemed the doctor’s certificate an adequate safeguard.
The two groups said they hoped to set a new global standard for the fashion industry.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN’S COMPLEXITY
It was frills, gothic studs and deconstruction at Kering-owned Alexander McQueen.
Monday’s was a hard show to pin down — but there was much beauty in its complexity.
Many of designer Sarah Burton’s looks had a wilting feeling as ruffles drooped on pink gowns, or deconstructed sections of a trench hung limply.
Elsewhere, a motif of a wilting flower appeared, as if it had been overheated. Models, too, had wet or sweaty-looking hairstyles with precious stones and pearls tightly clasping their neck; their red silk gowns sometimes appeared as if they were clinging to a clammy body.
Then there were the stomper boots and the studs that gave the 36-piece collection a gothic feel.
A white skirt with a studded lattice and a white deconstructed biker jacket gave the model the image of a goth angel.
Burton’s display will, no doubt, provoke myriad poetical interpretations.
IRVING PENN CELEBRATED
Pioneering American fashion photographer Irving Penn is the subject of a new retrospective at Paris’ Grand Palais.
Vogue Paris editor Emmanuelle Alt hosted a red carpet VIP viewing of the exhibit on Sunday night.
Penn, who died at 92 in 2009, found fame for his celebrity portraits that graced the pages of Vogue magazine from 1943 right up until August of the year he died.
But as celebrity guests — who included Minogue, Robin Wright, Naomi Campbell and Jean Paul Gaultier — discovered, Penn’s expansive eye went well beyond the industry. The exhibit shows how Penn meticulously studied art to perfect his austere lighting.
He used that on a wide range of subjects, including an ethnographic photographic series taken in modern-day Benin. In addition, close-ups of objects such as cigarette butts showed an emotional engagement to the perils of smoking and a modernist approach to his art.