PARIS (AP) — Model and singer Pixie Geldof and Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquiere watched from Grand Palais’ front row Thursday morning in Paris as Chloe put on a spring manifesto in wearable chic.
Here are some highlights of spring-summer 2020 collections in the French capital.
CHLOE’S STUDY IN CHIC
Chloe, a Parisian institution founded in 1952, is widely credited with inventing the very concept of ready-to-wear.
And since arriving at the house in 2017, designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi has honored that formidable legacy.
The talented native of France has consistently towed the line between clothes that are both sophisticated and wearable — a mix that was on display this season.
With a slight masculine swagger, styles sported loose boyish pinstripe tailoring.
Silhouettes featuring ribbon neckties, flattened torsos and widened shoulders were a contemporary nod to the house’s signature 70s style.
Many of the looks were a study in gentle contrasts.
A fluid pleated ankle length silk gown in champagne, for example, was given a beautiful tomboy twist with the weight of black buckled leather boots.
LAGERFELD’S CELEBRITY SHIRT TRIBUTE
Such was the legacy of Chanel’s late designer Karl Lagerfeld that he has been given several send offs since his death in February, including a performance in June with Tilda Swinton and Helen Mirren.
The memorials continued this season in the form of an exhibition created by figures in fashion who loved him.
Mirren, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, British models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, American designer Tommy Hilfiger, and German actress Diane Kruger were among celebrities enlisted to “reinterpret” and “redesign” what the organizers call Lagerfeld’s “most iconic design: the white shirt.”
The shirts — featuring prints and graphic detailing — were displayed in the Maison Karl Lagerfeld to VIP insiders including US Vogue chief Anna Wintour, models Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Karlie Kloss as well as the project’s curator French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld.
“It’s hard to think of Karl and not imagine him wearing his iconic white shirt,” said Karl Lagerfeld CEO Pier Paolo Righi.
“By inviting his friends and family to customize their own bespoke designs, they have been able to express their personal memories, anecdotes and experiences. This is a wonderful, creative way for us to honor his legacy.”
COURREGES: ON THE WATERFRONT
The Saint Martin canal in central Paris was the hip urban setting for Courreges’ spring display, which treated guests to a musical spectacle on the waterfront.
Guests flanked the canal banks as a barge glided past amid a smoke and light display with a singer warbling from the deck.
As the boat docked, the models disembarked onto the street runway to reveal an urban collection with a sporty, retro aesthetic with lashings of color-blocking.
More pared down and more focused than last season, spring saw designer Yolanda Zobel reinterpret the miniskirt, a style the house laid claim to inventing in the 60s.
The garment came in urban light acid green below a color-blocked stiff bright orange jacket, and elsewhere in a more retro style in red gingham tablecloth with a flappy tied bow. Continuing the retro-infused designs, the show saw a return to bell bottoms and a flared aesthetic.
The designs of Andre Courreges once set the trends for stars like Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve who admired its ground-breaking geometry, plastic miniskirts, space-age silhouettes and futuristic textiles.
RICK OWENS’ BOOK AND RAIN-FREE SHOW
Rick Owens had a double reason to smile on Thursday.
Firstly, because it didn’t, as forecast, rain on his parade: the outdoor fashion show he staged at the Palais de Tokyo. Fashion PR had painstakingly prepared capes for guests and sent out a flurry of informative emails concerning drizzly weather.
Secondly, because the American designer did a signing for his much-publicized new Rizzoli book on Larry LeGaspi, the U.S. designer whose bombastic silver and black space-age looks were worn by rock bands such as Kiss.
Bombastic would indeed be the word to sum up this season’s Rick Owens collection.
Giant geometric headpieces and alien-like bulbous heads (achieved via scalp wigs) defined the typically eccentric, fashion-forward aesthetic.
Peaked shoulders and sculpted form elongated the silhouette to evoke bony humanoids and further the idea that this was a show that harked from a galaxy far, far away.
Big stomping boots, an Owens signature, came color-blocked against the clothes to fuse the space age with glam rock.
As ever there were some highly creative moments from the fashion master such as abstract swathes of fabric inserted at the waist that seemed to be suspended in gravity.
ARORA’S LGBTQ SHOW
Manish Arora was applauded Thursday for bringing the conversation about the global LGBTQ community to the heart of Paris Fashion Week in a collection entitled: “Love is Love.”
The exuberant New Delhi-based designer worked his signature color-rich psychedelia on drag queens and performers in a show of diverse gender-bending styles that were displayed on the theater stage.
A male singer in a pink perforated silk column dress and a feather eye mask serenaded guests.
Then, a longhaired model in a bejeweled yellow armor-like vest bent over backward acrobatically. The model wore a heart-shaped handbag in yellow alongside eye-popping multicolor platform shoes.
Evoking Arora’s native India, an A-line skirt cut on the bias had an exotic feel with banding and myriad decorative detailing.
While this collection didn’t have the high-fashion feel of a typical ready-to-wear show, it was a highly entertaining spectacle.
DIOR BOUTIQUE OPENS
Dior successfully capitalized on the media scrutiny that Paris Fashion Week brings by opening its newest boutique on the famed Champs-Elysees avenue Wednesday night.
Champagne-sipping celebrities added star power to the launch held just a stone’s throw from the age-old house studios on 30 Avenue Montaigne.
Model Karlie Kloss stunned in a checkered black and green Dior dress as she stood on the boutique’s spiral wooden staircase.
While, Bianca Jagger cut a cool style as she posed in shades, red Dior coat and Lady Dior bag in red leather.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K