Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri once again celebrated feminism and sisterhood in her collection for Christian Dior at Paris Fashion Week, delving into the independent youth subculture styles of 1950s Britain.
Wearing a marl Dior dress, Jennifer Lawrence swept down the stone steps inside the Rodin Museum, the venue for Dior’s show Tuesday, to form her own sisterhood with English actress Gemma Arterton and model Karlie Kloss.
Lawrence remained an island of calm in the heaving mass of cameras that eventually caused security to reroute guests. She showed her engagement ring from New York art gallerist Cooke Maroney as photographers vied for shots in the sweltering room.
Here are some highlights of the first full day of autumn-winter 2019 collections at Paris Fashion Week:
A gargantuan art installation covered the runway walls, spelling out words like “feminists” as Dior’s first female designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, took the theme to the sassy styles of British “Teddy Girls,” a rebellious breed of British teens during the 1950s.
It was new territory.
Monochrome gingham, red check, full skirts, big black leather belts, pointy shoes and cut-off bobby socks all evoked the girls who formed part of a largely forgotten subculture that took its name from the Edwardian-style “Teddy” jacket donned by adherents.
The Teddy Girls rebelled against austerity after the Second World War and replaced it with messy exuberance in their clothes. It’s laudable that Chiuri sought inspiration in “the queens of a ravaged landscape” who were “impertinent characters,” according to the description in the program notes.
For autumn-winter, slightly awkward bell hat-hybrids led the eye down to Edwardian coats, their exaggerated lapels touched on a trend seen in Milan. Pleated or button-down, full skirts evoked the end of wartime rationing.
The collection was far from glamorous. Intentionally so.
SAINT LAURENT’S OPIUM
The sultry vibe of late couturier Yves Saint Laurent, harking from the launch of his perfume “Opium” in 1977 and after, was in the air at Tuesday’s evening show by Anthony Vaccarello.
Dark and hazy lighting lit up male and female models in retro ensembles, styled with large shades, trilby hats or disco skull caps.
The show opened with oversized ‘80s power-shoulders on some statement tailored coats that set the autumn-winter display’s graphic tone.
But Vaccarello’s signature style is bare skin. Nipples and chest were exposed in a black silk gown with scooped bust, or on a YSL archive peaked-shoulder tuxedo jacket in white with cummerbund. Micro shorts and miniskirts were in abundance.
Reverentially, Vaccarello delved into the house archives and returned with the Asian musing that inspired Saint Laurent’s successful, and controversial, perfume from the late 1970s. This era was apparent in some accomplished archive pieces, such as a shimmering jacket, that re-created the red and gold embroideries associated with this heyday.
A starry front row, including Kate Moss, Matt Dillon, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Jones and Catherine Deneuve, applauded enthusiastically.
JACQUEMUS IS A SHOWMAN
The rising fashion showman of Paris Fashion Week, Simon Porte Jacquemus, recreated a village square in southern France, aptly named “Place Jacquemus,” for his collection in a warehouse space on the outskirts of the French capital.
In the bright colours of summer, Mediterranean-style shutters are flung open above a yellow bakery beside a sign advertising “pain,” French for bread. A house with drain pipes had clothes hung out to dry on a line.
The sheer ambition and realism — the set continued around the sides of the seating — bowled over the audience Monday night. One guest reportedly called Jacquemus “the new Karl Lagerfeld.”
Style-wise, Jacquemus, who is from Provence, continued to be inspired by and evoke his southern French roots. He referenced them in past collections, and the biographical fashion had started to wear a little thin.
But the 29-year-old moved in a welcome and more sophisticated direction this season without sacrificing the southern vibe.
Gone was the raw sensuality of bombshell femme fatales. In its place were thoughtful and arty designs. Loose silhouettes featured soft statement coats, culottes, pantsuits, button-down shirts, utilitarian pockets and leg-long fisherman’s boots.
Vivid colours were the biggest statement of the collection: oranges, sea blues, greens and bright pink mirrored the eye-catching set.