Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were employed with devastating effect by design Maestro Karl Lagerfeld to cap Paris Haute Couture Week in Fendi’s dramatic colour-infused fur collection.
Exuberant Lagerfeld made light of the spectacle’s theatre venue by making not one bow, but three. Here are some of Wednesday’s autumn-winter highlights.
A shot-red forest decor in Paris’ exclusive Champs-Elysees theatre led down to multicoloured blooms. And a few yards on, sat the director and VIP guests, including filmmaker Sofia Coppola.
Lagerfeld’s collection for “haute fourrure”, or high fur, went technicolour this autumn-winter season in mink and sable — with three-dimensional floral and flower-shaped fur detailing cutting a fine style.
A bright red poppy motif sheath was followed with a sienna coat with purple fur blooms. A turquoise cape dress sported oversize red fur flowers that turned, again, into poppies on the floppy ankle boots.
Coats with strong necklines were speckled with multi-colour — echoed cleverly by other fur coats, with real-life speckled contrasts.
Then came the stars.
Model of the minute Hadid, 20, prowled out animalistic ally in a loose and floaty, blue floral jumpsuit with peek-a-boo sheer sections and slicked-back hair.
Jenner followed soon after in a black tulip-shaped mini dress, with cape that curved round like a flower petal.
Previous Fendi Paris fur shows have seen animal activist protests, but there was no disruption this year.
Coppola also held court on the Valentino front row beside house-founder Valentino Garavani at his eponymous couture show in the opulent Hotel Salomon de Rothschild.
The youthful-looking 46-year-old, who’s still basking in the glory of her 2017 Cannes Best Director Award for The Beguiled, looked demure in a black Valentino sleeveless silk gown.
Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson also attended the silken display, alongside actress Kristin Scott Thomas.
Colour-blocking mixed with historic silken gowns — and a small dash of star-power — for Valentino.
The recently-solo designer Pierpaolo Piccioli is going from strength to strength.
The long, floor-sweeping organza gowns that evoke the Renaissance — now a staple of the Rome-based couture house — were all there in the Wednesday show’s accomplished designs.
Indeed, Italian painter Titian was even referenced in the programme notes and could be felt in the silken hues of the collection that fused gentle whites, blues, reds and yellows.
An intarsia velvet plisse dress, which took 960 hours to make, had blown-up baroque motifs.
But Piccioli mixed it up this season. Graphic shapes were produced with some stylish colour-blocking on gowns. One billowing cape in cerulean blue velvet sported a contrasting under garment with white sporty zip up collar.
Perhaps anticipating this month’s new Game of Thrones season, Lebanese designer Elie Saab went in search of the warrior queen for his medieval-tinged couture collection. Queenly golden head band crowns, Rosary-style hand ornaments and heavy Romanesque necklaces adorned models with tousled hair, which was parted in the centre.
The gowns, too, harked to a bygone era. The signature Saab silhouette — floor length and cinched-waisted — was given a historic twist with the display’s thick velvets, bands of fur and intricate golden brocades.
One archetypal medieval gown in deep ultramarine velvet had structured straps diagonally across the bust, leading the eye down to floor length slit sleeves — styles worn by queens in court. A billowing cloak that faded from grey to blue was fastened by a large fairy-tale black velvet bow.
There were great small details such as a structured peplum bodice that looked hard, yet was rendered soft by the velvet texture. Actress Rossy de Palma and socialite Olivia de Palermo applauded in delight.
GAULTIER AND COCO ROCHA
In 2007, Coca Rocha’s stunned guests at Jean Paul Gaultier as the then 18-year-old Canadian model opened the show with a dramatic traditional Irish step jig that she danced all the way down the runway.
Ten years later, Rocha stunned again. This time the 28-year-old, who’s still at the top of her game, capped the snow-themed show from the French designer by cycling down the podium in a strange white, fluffy tricycle carriage in gold leggings. Guests applauded and cheered as the soundtrack boomed out a French version of Frozen’s Let it Go.
“It’s never just another runway show with @JPGaultier!” exclaimed the model from her Twitter account.
The ever-unpredictable couturier Gaultier lived up to his reputation on Wednesday in a humorous couture treat for guests who included France’s Former First Lady Carla Bruni.
The 61 diverse designs loosely united around one central theme: the winter wonderland. Loosely.
But the display was mainly about fun and veered often into the wacky, harking from different continents and silhouettes. It almost defied definition. On a snow-white runway, oversize bubble jackets in grey and gold paraded alongside fitted jackets with snow motifs and furry white platforms.
For the head: Gaultier served up gargantuan fur Russian chapkas that competed with woolly bobble hats in blue and white.
Then there were saris that are worn in the sun, not in snow.
“[It’s] childish and exotic... What was funny was a mix of winter. So the snow, and the pullover. And also the sari, which is from a country where there’s a lot of sun,” he said.
And where would a winter wonderland scene be without Scandi knits? Inspired by the 1970s craze for Swedish-style cardigans, model Anna Cleveland wore a thick blue and white cardigan with floppy knitted headwear.
Then the couturier seemed to head for the Himalayas with wrapped-up Asian-style silhouettes — with one bright red, floor length, square-shouldered gown reminiscent of traditional Nepalese dress.