PARIS (AP) — Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has outdone himself at Paris Fashion Week, creating a lush indoor canyon complete with six spectacular waterfalls — all for a 20-minute Chanel catwalk show.
Guests including actress Monica Bellucci and movie director Baz Luhrmann breathed in the fresh, moist air from their seats at Tuesday’s show. Elsewhere, Moncler and Miu Miu also showcased their latest designs.
Some of Tuesday’s ready-to-wear show highlights:
LAGERFELD GOES CHASING WATERFALLS
The sun shone down through Paris’ Grand Palais glass ceiling, past Chanel’s celebrity guests, forming a rainbow on a 15-meter waterfall.
Lagerfeld’s latest spectacle paid homage to the Verdon Gorge, France’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Artisans spent two months recreating a life-like replica of the French natural wonder located in the region of Provence. The setting, with myriad mossy rocks and waving trees, left stunned guests reaching for their cameras.
It was a welcome moment of tranquility away from the nearby Champs-Elysees avenue’s urban bustle and the tumult of Paris Fashion Week.
The falling water of the show decor filtered into Chanel’s spring-summer styles as gentle aquatic tones, playful water-proof garments, and beautiful interlocking layers that cascaded down the models’ torsos.
Model-of-the-minute Kaia Gerber set the tone of the collection as she opened the show in a loose woven tweed jacket with strong `80s shoulders in pale blue, paired with sheer PVC boots and waterproof hat. Her mother Cindy Crawford watching from the front row.
Elsewhere, a hazy lacy outer layer on an oversize white chiffon blouse resembled a ripple of water.
Lagerfeld delicately captured the downward dynamic of the waterfall backdrop to produce the strongest of the exhaustive 88-looks. Guests reached for their cameras to capture the threads on a shaggy soft pink sweater that hung down onto a limp ruffled skirt evoking underwater flora.
LUHRMANN PRAISES OPERATIC LAGERFELD
“Moulin Rouge” director Baz Luhrmann, who sat close to the rippling water at Chanel, said Lagerfeld is much more than a fashion designer.
“I’ve always said if the day job doesn’t work out for Karl, he’d be the world’s greatest opera director. He does truly create opera,” said Luhrmann, who cut his cloth as an opera director before finding global renown with the breakout movie “Romeo and Juliet.”
Luhrmann said that Lagerfeld’s Grand Palais displays — which have included a reconstructed Eiffel Tower, an imported forest, a space ship and a supermarket — stand out for his sense of “exhalting and heightening the spirit.”
“The expectation of a Karl show is now: What next? How much bigger can it be? How much more grand can it be,” he said, smiling.
LOUIS VUITTON’S STAR-STUDDED SHOP OPENING
With great fanfare, Louis Vuitton hosted one of the biggest celebrity-filled soirees of the season Monday night to inaugurate its new store on the Place Vendome.
The glitzy cocktail party drew stars including Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Connelly, Lea Seydoux and Catherine Deneuve. They wandered, champagne in hand, around the sprawling multi-level store filled with clothing, jewelry, watches and perfumes as well as artisan workshops.
The luxury powerhouse staged the luxurious party to reflect the symbolic importance of the chic Place Vendome, where a young Louis Vuitton created his first ever shop 160 years ago.
The celebration continued well into the night with performances by Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith.
MONCLER GAMME ROUGE
Disco is fused with ballet at the sports-infused house of Moncler Gamme Rouge.
Italian designer Giambattista Valli put on his dancing shoes for Tuesday’s spectacle for which had ballerinas in sheer tulle knee-length skirts performing en pointe before enormous hanging disco balls.
The two styles cropped up in Valli’s contrast-rich collection, which mixed the spirit of the tulle tutu with the leotard and legwarmers of “Flashdance.”
A white miniskirt constructed with feathers had a beautiful diaphanous feel that contrasted with a streetwise black sweater with tubular arms, and gray knit knee length legwarmers.
The collection also had a patriotic feel.
Last year the house honored the French Legion of Honor. Tuesday’s show saw Tricolor ribbons and an embroidered mini dress with red, white and blue strips that mirrored the French flag.
MIU MIU’S QUIRKY EMPIRE
To an acid yellow backdrop, Miu Miu presented a study in colorful contrast.
Miuccia Prada’s little sister brand has turned quirky into a global empire, and Tuesday’s show was a case in point.
Opening the show, a masculine knitted retro tank top with taupe and Persian blue chevrons set the tone — paired with cropped pants and contrasting long salmon-colored stockings.
This collection tried its hardest to be unsexy. Bright yellow socks were worn under leather sandals — served up against an oversize tuxedo jacket.
The brand’s signature eccentric contrasts cropped up in the form of colorful check patterning and stylish floral embroideries on high-necked gowns.
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