A one-off itinerant extravaganza courtesy of American designer Tommy Hilfiger’s “buy-now” collaboration with actress-singer Zendaya gave Paris Fashion Week a case of Saturday night fever. On Sunday, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli yet again received a standing ovation, and Givenchy takes on Adam and Eve. Here are highlights from the autumn-winter ready-to-wear shows.
For Hilfiger’s disco-inspired show, the Champs-Elysees Theatre flashed with Pac-Man and Space Invaders arcade games while excited guests, including British race car driver Lewis Hamilton and model Gigi Hadid, snacked on popcorn and candy jawbreakers.
The show celebrated diversity and was, in terms of sheer energy, unlike any other so far this season. Dozens of dancers on roller skates boogied amid flashing lights to greatest hits from the 1970s.
The collection itself, sadly, felt more high-street than high-fashion and rather paled in comparison to the ambitious spectacle.
Breton stripes led down to flared denim or leather pants, torso-hugging jumpsuits and a shimmering pleated silken gown with a cape the model waved dramatically.
This fashion show was all about the show.
Whoops from the audience erupted as disco icon Grace Jones, wearing a shimmering peaked-shoulder tuxedo, thigh-high boots and leotard — danced out.
The show’s finale track, ‘We Are Family’, had even fashion insiders with perpetually pursed lips singing along.
American actress and singer Zendaya, 22, became the latest in a long line of celebrities to try their hand at fashion design in Paris.
The ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ star spoke about receiving a phone call from Hilfiger to discuss a collaboration.
“I got a call from Tommy Hilfiger himself, which was pretty crazy. I was not expecting that,” she said.
Hilfiger gave her, she said, full control of the designs, which drew inspiration from “iconic women” of the late-1970s and early-1980s.
Showing deep industry knowledge, Zendaya also referenced the famous ‘Battle of Versailles’ fashion show held in 1973 at France’s Palace of Versailles. It pitted American designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Stephen Burrows against French designers Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and Hubert de Givenchy.
One of the models who walked in the 1973 Versailles show, Pat Cleveland, modelled for Zendaya. Cleveland often is described as the world’s first black supermodel.
Another Pierpaolo Piccioli show, another standing ovation.
The Valentino designer can do no wrong.
At least, that seemed to be the view of the fashion insiders who whooped and cheered as models stood under a giant neon text about love and loss dressed in colourful 1970s-style silken gowns for the finale Sunday.
The golden dome of the French capital’s Invalides monument twinkled in the background.
A book of verse given to every guest prompted gushing comments about Piccioli’s artistic sensitivity.
The styles, however, weren’t fully deserving of such effusive praise and poetry.
There were, without a doubt, many beautiful styles: especially in the neck detailing that defined the autumn-winter aesthetic.
Piccioli took the 70s trend and crowned it with the most diaphanous jabot collars and silk neck scarves seen all season.
Tulle neck fringing fell like a wilting flower, fusing the 20th century era with a vibe of the Renaissance.
Minimalist touches, such as a loose, black silk gown with the shoulders lobbed off, also hit a high note.
But chunky butterfly embroideries and overly busy art prints jarred with the delicate designs in several looks.
As night fell on the Jardin des Plantes garden gates, dramatic one-meter-high letters were floodlit to spell out “GIVENCHY.”
Guests eating red candy apples then entered an incredibly long annex runway constructed inside the gardens. Tree colonnades encroached the see-through roof, scratching it menacingly as the wind blew.
This season, designer Clare Waight Keller went to the origin myth, the temptation of Adam and Eve.
Reptilian references — from snake heels to bright red snake coats — merged with botanical patterns on plisse silk gowns with a subtle Japanese feel. Their high ruffled collars were constructed to look almost organic.
The eye-popping colour palette of peach, lime green, almond, blood red, black and vivid blue painted a picture of a verdant garden, but one that was never far from danger.
Geometry and sculpted shapes defined the silhouettes, such as an extended round shoulder that looked almost ribbed, like an exoskeleton.
Though she went deep into the mythical past for the show titled “The Winter of Eden,” Keller didn’t neglect today’s ‘70s trend in the designs that included historic Renaissance sleeves, ruffles and capes.