Grace Jones rocks Zendaya show as Valentino gets ovation
PARIS (AP) — 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 Thom Browne blurred the gender lines.
Here are highlights from fall-winter ready-to-wear shows.
TOMMY'S SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
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.
ZENDAYA FOR TOMMY HILFIGER
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 to The Associated Press 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 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, modeled 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 colorful 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 fall-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.
GIVENCHY'S ORIGINAL SIN
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 color 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.
"Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot — whose DC Comics character harked from a tropical haven — applauded vigorously from the front row.
THE GUEST HAS A NAME
Arya Stark from "Game of Thrones" famously utters the words: "The girl has no name."
But the actress who plays her, 21-year-old Maisie Williams, is quickly becoming a name.
She made a surprise appearance in a check suit and a funky fringe on the front row of Thom Browne's collection inside the Musee des Beaux-Arts.
THOM BROWNE: FEMALE EXECUTIVES, PRIVATE SCHOOL
Layered, sartorial styles continued the American designer's penchant for gender-bending.
Bespectacled female models in gray menswear suits with turn up pants and square coats held stern expressions as they walked past holding black briefcases.
Women rule in a man's world, Browne suggested.
The shirt, suit and coat were intentionally tiered at the cuff, producing a chic striped effect.
Then, the playful fashion explorations began.
Business pants became preppy shorts that could have come straight out of a private school uniform.
The manly gray suits were transformed into a woman's bourgeois gray wool coat with thick bands of fur at the hem.
One of the most boundary-blurring ensembles was a three-piece checked suit that opened to reveal a pleated schoolgirl skirt with fine white stripes. A monocle-like accessory hung down over the model's face.