Home Arts & Leisure Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Chanel’s camellia-themed lineup, LV goes playful, Stella McCartney shows horses, Pierre Cardin returns

PARIS — French fashion label Chanel took to a darkened runway for creative director Virginie Viard’s fall-winter collection on Tuesday, showing a glamorous line-up infused with references to a key brand symbol, the camellia flower.

The entire set was built around towering, white camellia sculptures that faced the audience, seated in steep risers ringing the space, a sprawling exhibition hall south of the Eiffel Tower. (See the show here: Fall-Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-Wear Show | CHANEL.)

Projected onto the giant camellias were images of Nana Komatsu, styled to resemble the 1960s film character Polly Maggoo, with thick eyeliner and a sleek hairstyle that curled up at the bottom.

The label’s ubiquitous camellia appeared throughout the show, worked into the patterns of sweeping overcoats and dresses, rendered as stark white three-dimensional embellishments on all-black ensembles, and cropping up as a patch of black flowers adorning the collar of a slick black jacket.

Most looks were black and white, paraded by models striding on shiny black platform boots, often with patterned white tights. Bermuda shorts and matching jackets, loose-legged jumpsuits and tweed ensembles were accessorized with the label’s signature jewelry — chained belts, earrings and swinging necklaces that sparkled down the runway.

For the finale, the massive camellia sculptures suddenly glowed red, and slowly shifted between red and a bright pink as models rounded the room.

The catwalk presentation was held on the final day of Paris Fashion Week, which drew crowds of celebrities to the French capital, and featured big-name labels including Hermes, Valentino, LVMH-owned Dior and Louis Vuitton, Kering-owned labels Saint Laurent and Balenciaga.

Louis Vuitton (LV) took to the Musee d’Orsay for its fall-winter catwalk show, sending a modern lineup of playful, sculptural looks down a slick, black runway designed to evoke a Paris street. (See the show here: Women’s Fall-Winter 2023 Show | LOUIS VUITTON)

Exploring notions of French style, Nicolas Ghesquiere, artistic director of the label’s womenswear collections, played with volumes of clothing and trompe l’oeil effects, including boots that looked like black high heel shoes worn with white socks and fuzzy coats resembling blazers.

Other looks included bulky Bermuda shorts, wide bustier dresses cinched with thin belts and glittering beaded dresses.

Handbags were varied, including one fashioned to look like a typical blue Paris street sign, trimmed in green — with “Louis Vuitton” stamped in white letters.

At the end of the show, the sound of footsteps was projected through the space, giving the impression of invisible models walking down the runway — an effect drawn up by sound artist Nicolas Becker.

Mr. Ghesquiere then trotted out, flashing a grin at the guests in the front row, who included film stars Emma Stone, Zendaya and Catherine Deneuve who sat alongside members of the family of LVMH’s chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault. Pharrell Williams, named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear designs last month, also attended the show.

Stella McCartney drove home her leather-free fashion message by sending a team of horses to canter alongside models wearing styles crafted from new, eco-conscious materials.

The designer said she sought to explore the relationship between humans and nature. (See the show here: Designer Clothing | Latest Luxury Fashion | Stella McCartney UK )

“There’s been so much leather and feathers, especially on the runway this season,” she told Reuters after the show. “I just really want to show everyone in the world — and the world of fashion — that you don’t really need to do that,” she said. Materials used in her collection are derived from mushrooms and apples, for instance, and wine grape waste was used to make the label’s curvy S-Wave bag.

At the show in the Ecole Militaire stables in Paris, seven horses, guided by their trainer, Jean-Francois Pignon, performed individually and in formation.

With a nod to their fellow performers, some models wore horse patterns, while others carried images of horse photographs taken by McCartney’s sister and her mother.

Their high heels sank into the sandy floor as they paraded long, tailored jackets, cinched at the waist, furry overcoats, some resembling dappled horses, and, in contrast, silky asymmetric dresses lined with lace.

Actress Jessica Alba, singer Avril Lavigne and model and designer Camila McConaughey watched it all from the front row, alongside members of LVMH chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault’s family. LVMH owns a minority stake in the label and McCartney serves as environmental adviser to the entire luxury group.

Her connection with horses goes deep.

“I’ve been riding since I was born,” said Ms. McCartney. “We grew up in the middle of nowhere, really, bareback on horses. I just remember falling off them all the time and getting back on all the time.”

French label Pierre Cardin returned to the official Paris fashion week schedule for the first time in decades, sending out a colorful, off-beat lineup of styles that recalled its space age heyday. (Watch the show here: www.palaiscardin.com )

Models paraded two-toned suit jackets with triangular shaped lapels, asymmetrical dresses and capes, shimmery gold trousers and thin ties that formed an arrow-like shape at the tip.

Attendants flashed spotlights on models as they made their way down the temporary runway, set up in the label’s empty flagship store that is undergoing renovations.

Spinning holograms were projected in the windows of the store — located across the street from France’s Elysee Palace — and one model carried the three-dimensional projection in a handbag.

The late designer’s great nephew, Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, who took the reins of the label following Mr. Cardin’s death in 2020, said he worked with the design studio to pare back the looks, which were made from recycled materials as well as fabric that sat in storage for decades.

Seeking to spark interest in the label among younger crowds, Basilicati Cardin said he set up competitions to bring on talent from other countries, like Mexico and South Korea, for stints at the label.

“My goal is to manage the label and bring it on track,” he said, speaking to journalists after the show as he greeted guests including French singer Mireille Mathieu. — Reuters