Passers-by gathered outside the giant glass windows of Celine’s traffic-stopping show venue Sunday night: erected in Paris’ sparkling Place de la Concorde, which is also used as a traffic circle.
Designer Hedi Slimane’s debut menswear effort for Celine — the most highly anticipated show of the season — also drew the stars inside, including Courtney Love. All were all eager to see the new face of the age-old Parisian stalwart that’s historically always been associated with dressing women.
Here are some highlights from Paris Fashion Week.
Has Hedi Slimane lost some of his attitude?
The former Saint Laurent designer who courts controversy and provokes outrage from fashion editors at almost every turn seems to have turned a new leaf.
Sunday’s menswear debut for Celine showed a different side to the enfant terrible of Paris fashion, one that was restrained and even conservative (relatively).
Clean silhouettes that riffed on the ‘60s included a checked coat in luxuriant-looking wool or a slim tweed coat. Color was used sparingly.
Slimane’s unkempt, waiflike and shaggy-haired models were still there stomping down the runway, as were the retro Teddy Boy touches like winkle picker shoes, white socks and a few statement sparkling jackets.
But this new Celine man had a distinctly bourgeois feel.
Even signature Slimane garments that would have once been provocative, like a yellow faux-zebra coat, looked restrained owing to their simple and balanced proportion.
Was it a little bit low-energy?
Decked out in a black velvet top, an excited Love sat front row at Celine as she looked upon the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.
“I think it’s going to be fantastic. What Hedi (Slimane) does is amazing and it’s an honour to be here,” she said.
Love has been writing her memoirs for some years that recounts key moments in her life including with late-Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain.
But she told The Associated Press that she’s struggled with the writing process.
“My book is three-quarters of the way done. It’s horrible. It’s hard to concentrate. That’s why it’s taking so long,” she said.
She said her 26-year-old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, Cobain’s daughter is one of the main reasons she’s writing to help her child make sense of a life marked by a father’s untimely death in 1994.
“My daughter really is my muse. I’m doing it so that she understands things in her life,” she added.
Psychedelic Peruvian paintings covered panel upon panel of Kenzo’s autumn menswear show that celebrated of one of the designer’s Chinese-Peruvian heritage.
The set, painted by artist Pablo Amaringo, evoked scenes inspired by the hallucinogenic Amazonian “ayahuasca” drug — with multicolour space ships, jungle, parrots and deer merging into one — and had some fashion guests squinting amid fluorescent lighting.
Designer Humberto Leon’s family is Tusan, a Peruvian people whose ancestors arrived in Latin America in the 19th century from Guangdong province in China.
The theme provided a rich fashion tapestry in the clothes — from Andean mountaineering styles with woolies, fun hiking boots, utilitarian rucksacks and amassed layering, to ethnic textiles in flashes of bright colour.
Beyond the encyclopedic theme, there were some trendy touches in deconstruction — such as a series of cross jackets with Asian-style cinched waists that sported the inner sleeve lining on the outside.
After much creative change at the top of the LVMH house, Berluti — the one-time boot-maker — seems to have found its footing.
Belgian Kris Van Assche replaced artistic director Haider Ackermann last year and Friday’s standout show towed the line perfectly between vibrant and tasteful.
Berluti, which started a clothes line in 2011, has cut a corner for itself in the menswear luxury market for its eye-popping hues.
And Van Assche didn’t let the autumn-winter mood dampen any of this zest for colour, all the while working in his signature minimalist touches.
A shocking pink trench coat was kept tasteful thanks to the simplicity of its clean cut. It was paired with a crimson suit that gave the whole look a visual electricity.
A bright yellow oversized coat had a 19th-century weight to it that evoked a Parisian dandy.
To cap the collection, leather looks in black and dark blue provided a welcome contrast in colour and sex appeal. A soft kinky hoody shimmered sensually.