Armed with a battalion of celebrity ambassadors, L’Oreal took over the historic Paris Mint building to stage a Paris Fashion Week extravaganza.
The brand celebrated female empowerment at its third fashion show, which featured actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell and Eva Longoria giving turns as models and was broadcast to over 40 countries.
The French cosmetic giant’s display still was less ambitious than last year’s edition, which took place on the Seine River, or the one staged in the centre of the Champs-Elysees that literally stopped traffic in 2017.
Nonetheless Rai Bachchan Mirren, Longoria, MacDowell and Dutch model Doutzen Kroes energised spectators at the evening show, joining Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and American model-actress Amber Heard and others to showcase a collection of carefully crafted looks.
Whatever the styles lacked in unity — they harked from diverse design houses that included AMI, Balmain, Dries Van Noten, Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli — they made up in razzmatazz.
A strong-shouldered tuxedo mixed with a 70s jabot collar shirt on Mirren and contrasted with more feminine styles, such as a trapeze-shaped, shoulder-less coral gown or the dazzling pearl-hued ruched number Longoria wore.
The L’Oreal brand’s cachet in make-up could not go unnoticed. Kroes and other models were made to look nymph-like, thanks to make-up director Val Garland and hair baron Stephane Lancien.
Petite Cabello was in a self-deprecating mood ahead of her catwalk showing, telling AP: “Do you guys know you’re talking to a model? The shortest model that ever walked the runway.”
The modelling turn also brought out the jitters in Desperate Housewives star Longoria, who confessed “it terrifies me. This is not my comfort zone. I’m not a runway model — full disclosure.”
MacDowell, meanwhile, praised the brand’s inclusive ethos.
“Last year was the first time I had been on the runway since my 20s, and I started modelling in Paris. So it’s full circle for me to be back,” the 61-year-old ‘Green Card’ actress said.
“I think (it’s) really interesting to represent mature women and to show that we’re still fashionable and we can do it just like anybody,” she added.