Chanel caps Paris Fashion Week’s post-virus comeback

Chanel caps Paris Fashion Week's post-virus comeback
Chanel brought Paris Fashion Week to its final day with a runway show that illustrated how designers and the people they dress want to look to the future with optimism

Chanel brought Paris Fashion Week to its final day with a runway show that illustrated how designers and the people they dress want to look to the future with optimism.

It is said that fashion is a mirror of our times — and the spring-summer collections shown here were sexy, vibrant and joyful despite, or perhaps because of, the coronavirus pandemic.

The runway show was staged before a pared-down audience Tuesday night in an annex by the Eiffel Tower, but the location had nothing to do with the pandemic. The normal venue, the Grand Palais, is being renovated for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

American actress Kristen Stewart rocked up late to the Parisian stalwart’s show wearing a pink Chanel skirt suit. French-American model-actress Lily-Rose Depp also showed up for Chanel.

Here are some highlights of the final day of ready-to-wear collections:

CHANEL GETS SNAPPED AT THE BEACH

Appropriately enough for a paparazzi-themed show, a group of frenzied minders rushed Stewart in late to take her seat. Guests had to look twice to see who the tardy invitee was because the “Twilight” star looked almost unrecognizable. The actress, a Chanel ambassador, sported a chic blond beehive for her latest role as Princess Diana in “Spencer,” which was partly filmed in Paris and set for a November release.

Designer Virginie Viard was in raunchy mood for spring. The theme was the lens, and real photographers, including from The Associated Press, huddled around a red carpet podium freestyle instead of lining up in their normal scrum. Models posed theatrically, with inches of leg and midriff exposed. The scene prompted chuckles from Depp.

The collection was all about swimwear. Sporty monochrome bikinis were worn with cascading silver necklaces, pendants, and talismans. Bold black-white contrasts and big statement buttons offered a faint whiff of the 1980s.

Chanel’s bread-and-butter skirt suits were colorfully jazzed up with stripes and patterns as if lifted straight from a Saint Tropez bikini. Yet this season, sadly, Viard did not seem to push the creative envelope.

The mood of beach-going and optimism at a time when the pandemic still has limited exotic vacations could be borne of a desire to project hope that the freedom to travel will soon return. Or was it about giving guests a chance to dream?

MIU MIU’S QUIRKS

The powerful front row of celebrities defines Miuccia Prada’s quirky little sister brand Miu Miu as much as the well-known humor and eccentric contrasts of the clothes.

This season, 21-year-old American actress and singer Halle Bailey — the star of Disney’s upcoming “The Little Mermaid,” drew the lion’s share of camera snaps in a front row that also included British model-designer Alexa Chung.

In fashion terms, the display was unusually sober and pared down. Black, browns and the oranges of fallen leaves brought an autumnal color palette to the spring-summer runway — a typical and intentional contradiction from the unpredictable Italian designer.

In looks that mixed sartorial with street, a slouchy school vibe that pervaded the 50-look show.. As per normal for Miu Miu, the collection had quirks galore.

A gray cable knit sweater had the midriff section lopped off, alongside frayed white shirt hems.

Prada also cut the legs completely off some pale menswear office pants, giving the pieces the funky low-slung style of a tennis skirt. Menswear woolen socks were worn high like tights.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

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