Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paris Fashion Week S/S 07

The City of Light proved it’s a small world indeed, especially during les defiles. While Chanel, Lanvin and Nina Ricci showed in the Tents, the style-set packed Rue Cambon and Place Vendome like the halls of a haute family reunion. With a recipe of champagne, celebs and dangerously high heels, anything and everything was possible. And just in case you couldn’t make it, here’s a cheat sheet of the week’s best moments…

Colette’s Double Dose of Scene
The coolest boutique in Paris is famous for its mix of luxury brands and street style finds. Maybe that’s why they opened France’s Fashion Week with a similar social mixture; on one end of the store was Delfina Fendi, the 19-year-old jewelry designer from the venerable Fendi clan, debuting her first collection. Surrounded by Daphne Guinness, Lady Amanda Harlech and Hamish Bowles, the style legacy was glowing (though of course, this could be because of her pregnancy).

Meanwhile, the other side of Colette was packed with club kids from London and New York, in town to celebrate the Street Style exhibit hosted in the store. Spotted cramming the DJ booth were The MisShapes, Agyness Deyn, Henry Holland, Gareth Pugh, photographer Jeremy Kost and teen model Cory Kennedy.

But where did style icon Karl Lagerfeld belong? “All places,” he grinned, before greeting Colette’s keeper, the gamine Sarah Lerfel.

After the party, the two tribes untwined, with Delfina’s crowd joining Sting and Sophie Albou at the Hotel Costes and the downtown darlings raiding A.P.C.’s party with Terry Richardson and Jessica Stam at Paris-Paris.

Galliano’s Rugby Rematch
The members of the fashion pack are tougher than they look and they proved it when John Galliano summoned them to the 16th Arrondissement – the same place where France was competing for the World Rugby Title. As fans streamed triumphant from the stadium, Carine Roitfeld and her acolytes pushed gamely through the crowds to find the catwalk. They were met with an opening strut by Irina Lazareanu – who may or may not be engaged to Pete Doherty, depending on whom you believe – and a collection of shredded, layered luxe that proved a highlight of the week.

Chanel. The Whole Thing.
Stars were slim at the Paris shows, but Chanel gave us both kinds:
They literally spangled the stage and the style on Karl Lagerfeld’s catwalk, with blouses, dresses, and jewels covered in six-pointed emblems, a celebration of Americana that also included a slew of Chanel denim and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on the speakers.

Meanwhile, the audience was studded with couture cuties: Kirsten Dunst, Lily Allen, Rachel Bilson and Courtney Love were seated with the French Vogue editors, while Victoria Beckham took her place next to ELLE’s Joe Zee (she’ll grace an upcoming cover), and Dita Von Teese was the guest of Harper’s Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey. Claudia Schiffer was also there, gracefully grinning for camera crews, with her hair dyed a new shade of shining butter.

The stars came out on the runway, too, with Natalia Vodianova, Mariacarla Boscono and Gemma Ward emerging from their busy schedule of campaign shoots and movie auditions to pose.

The Great Chloé Controversy
When Paolo Melim Andersson was appointed creative director of Chloé last year, he asserted the brand once known for owning 'pretty' would become something different. With Chloé now in its second season, Andersson has kept good on his promise, introducing sharply geometric prints and silhouettes and sarcastic beauty, Chloe Sevigny, as the brand's new face; she shared the front row in Paris with model Anja Rubik and actress Clémence Poésie. Vogue's Anna Wintour previewed the collection and gave it a nod, but other reviews were not as positive. Can Chloé's new direction hold onto its fans? Or will Andersson leave the house faster than Snejana sailed down his runway? Stay tuned...

Valentino’s Big Bang
After a whirlwind finale year, Valentino presented one last show, a reminder to the fashion industry that true levels of talent and beauty are rarer than models over 30. His ravishing runway showcased a series of scarlet dresses to make any woman into a siren and several poufs of pink chiffon that managed to look ethereal and cloud-like, not cloying. But while the runway sparked raves, the difficult pre-show scene drew a different type of frenzy: When Peta protestors invaded the Louvre, Valentino’s security shut the doors on almost half their audience, leaving fashion editors from New York to London and Tokyo stranded at the gates! It took several threats before the doors opened again and rumor has it that the fashionistas were saved by a certain photographer, who pulled off his shoe and wielded it, knife-style, at one of the guards. Fortunately a little violence was worth it as the triumphant catwalk was both historic and totally magic, as well.

— Faran Krentcil


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