PARIS (AP) - Celebrity is in the air at Paris Fashion Week as Rihanna - in a baggy black hoody, shades and sandals - arrived low-key at Charles de Gaulle airport but triggered a paparazzi scrum nonetheless. Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner stole the show at Balmain with actress Jada Pinkett Smith and singer Joe Jonas looking on.
Here are the highlights of Thursday’s ready-to-wear spring-summer shows:
RICK OWENS GETS SAUCY (AGAIN)
Fashion master Rick Owens continued to add to his reputation as one of the more provocative designers in Paris - with his bawdy collection that at several instances saw a real model’s crotch strapped around another model’s face or neck.
With the aid of black and gray banding, the upside down surrogate model was thus attached to her evening host.
The audience gasped and chuckled.
Owens’ was making a statement about how we put clothes on without thinking, and what might happen if the clothes put the body on (although the sexual innuendo perhaps drowned this meaning out for some).
Aside from this message, there was some interesting looks that demonstrated the American designer’s flair, such as a sweeping black graphic jerkin, or voluminously draped swirls of gray, muted pink and taupe fabric that created abstract forms on the torso.
Kim Kardashian was the talk of Balmain last season sporting a new blond hairstyle - and this time it was her half-sister Jenner’s turn to rock the crowds from the runway.
Modeling for two looks - a space-age ‘60s jumpsuit and a geometric lattice dress - Kendall had all eyes on her. Pinkett Smith, meanwhile, stunned with slick-back hair in a cinched waist olive green Balmain sweater and ultra mini.
BALMAIN’S AGGRESSIVE FEMININITY
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing showcased the sexual power of the strong, independent woman in his no-holds-barred styles at the Thursday afternoon show.
Using the colors of the pigments of ancient civilizations - malachite green, golden sienna, Egyptian blue, and white- as well as suedes and jewels, Balmain’s 29-year-old showman channeled a warrior.
Strapped, cinched waists and square belt buckles followed diagonal bands across the torso and huge metal neck-plates evoked a war princess. Slits and meshes, meanwhile, exposed sections of delicate skin. It was a nice contrast.
Then there were the ruffles. Huge, billowing, tiered ruffles peppered the show like on one caramel column dress, or a black leather skirt. It put the clock to the ‘70s and shows that unapologetic Rousteing certainly doesn’t do things by half.
SINGER CAROLINE VREELAND PERFORMS AT SWAROVSKI BIRTHDAY
Rising music star Caroline Vreeland performed to cheers at the glitziest party of Paris Fashion Week so far: Swarovksi’s 120th birthday.
The VIP-filled soiree on Wednesday night also celebrated the release of a new book “Swarovski: Celebrating a History of Collaborations in Fashion, Jewelry, Performance and Design.”
Though blond beauty Vreeland - who’s also a model - might not be a household name, she’s already fashion royalty, being the great-granddaughter of powerful Harper’s Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland, who reigned across the magazine world from 1936 to 1962.
Summer was in the air at Clare Waight Keller’s Thursday show at Paris’ Grand Palais.
The British Chloe designer this season mixed up sportswear, hippy styles and lashings of color to produce a saleable collection, frothing with loose silk silhouettes.
There was more than a whiff of Seventies’ flower power.
The 44-strong show opening with billowing hippy flares with small retro print - contrasted nicely with a jogging top that might be seen on a girl running around the Tuileries Gardens. Relaxed yet chic was its statement.
Later, floppy bows at the neck, flared sleeves, billowing harem pants, and dangling tassels further evoked the boho era.
But this collection was all about color: the indigo, beige, pale yellow, vermilion red and burgundy - that all came to a climax in a cascading rainbow gown that would certainly not be for the color-shy.
CARVEN’S SANITIZED CHIC
A large PVC greenhouse with white tube lights had fashionistas curious ahead of Carven’s spring-summer show, only the second so far for new designers Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial at the age-old Parisian house.
Pared-down and slightly sanitized was the style - carefully aligned with the decor. This infused the 41-piece collection with the tight, crisp silhouettes and mini-skirts of the Sixties.
Thus, delicately flared pants in dove gray mixed with colored silk shirts, and one white striped sporty-looking top with neat colored lines.
The best of the Sixties musing came with a cut-out disc motif on a burnt orange or white mini, and a crisp white mini dress that looked almost like a nurse’s uniform - stylishly evoking the sanitized feel
The collection loosened up toward the end with some layered skirts and a frothy white dress with criss-cross fabric panels.
In a varied show at Paris’ Left Bank Ecole des Beaux Arts, Alber Elbaz started his exploration of form in a series of deconstructed daywear skirt suit looks, with billowing undergarments in the skirt, which were purposefully off-kilter and frayed.
The real fun began when the bread-and-butter Lanvin cocktail gowns began.
A stylish series of draped silk dresses - gathered at the waist in red, teal, earth green and soft blue - were a contemporary take on old-school couture. They evoked the era of the late, great Jeanne Lanvin who founded the house at the turn of the 20th century.
Actor Benicio del Toro applauded from the front row.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP