PARIS — Soirees merged from night to day as design houses Nina Ricci and Issey Miyake showed off color-rich creations in Sept. 29’s installment of celebrity-filled Paris Fashion Week.
Here are some highlights of the spring-summer 2018 ready-to-wear shows.
• Nina Ricci’s militaristic spring
American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski posed ahead of the Nina Ricci show in a checked brown 70s-style suit taken from its fall collection. But for spring, designer Guillaume Henry channeled suits of a different nature: the military.
It was a theme that spoke to the show’s venue: the former French military hospital, the grand Hotel des Invalides, which is now home to France’s Army Museum.
A military jacket in gray with voluminous sleeves opened the show, sporting epaulets, large buttons and exaggerated pockets. Jodhpurs mixed with large visor hats, reminiscent of the French Legion. Fringing that evoked uniform detail came in large silken swathes across a soft ankle-length gown with a plunging decollete.
One of the collection’s best looks — an oversize golden yellow plume coat — was styled on a model with a large colonel’s feather pointing up from a head piece.
The collection got more feminine as it progressed — and included a flame red harem-style gown.
But Henry’s detail-rich clothes sometimes could have benefited from a simpler, more spring-infused, approach.
• Issey Miyake’s Icelandic poetry
The great mysteries of nature and Iceland were touchstones for Issey Miyake in its Paris show.
Loose silhouettes — the display’s principle style — hung from the shoulder featuring hazy images of the Icelandic landscape. The blurred motifs were created by baking printed glue on the fabric, sealing the fashion house’s reputation for cutting-edge clothes-making techniques.
Elsewhere, fabric panels of colorful checks folded haphazardly across the torso used a brown hue taken from a natural mud pigment. To end the show, squares were pieced together, creating a dark, geometric fabric that evoked light reflecting on volcanic Icelandic rocks.
“Great clefts in a harsh landscape, igneous rock covered in moss, gleaming in the rays of the sun, and crystal-clear glaciers stretching as far as the eye can see,” said the program notes.
• Chrisitan Wijnant’s Middle East
It was prints galore for Christian Wijnants as his guests were treated to the silks and decorations of the Ottoman Empire and Persia.
The talented Belgian designer evoked the floral motif found on fine Ottoman and Persian ceramics — that also adorns manuscripts and miniatures — in his diaphanous array of fluttery, lightly-colored printed silken gowns.
There was great thought behind the deceptively-simple collection.
A loose blue embroidered coat had a shimmery finish like the glaze on pottery. And a beautiful jade green dress had an Eastern feel with its swirling multitudinous layers and long fine neck scarf.
At several points, an Arabic text print covered the bust. Flashes of the West — like denim dungarees — added a fun contrast.
• Art of the invitation
The age of email doesn’t seem to have left a mark on the fashion industry’s antiquated system of invitations.
Season after season, gasoline-guzzling couriers crisscross Paris to personally deliver the ever-elaborate, often hand-made, show invites to fashion insiders.
Top houses vie for the funniest or most imaginative invite.
For her debut invitation at Chloe, Natacha Ramsay-Levi sent out a box of matches — perhaps hoping it might give critics a spark. Balmain’s was a clunky, golden trophy that was impractically heavy. And little-known house Sirloin sent invitees an actual postcard of the Eiffel Tower.
In a tie for the best invitations were Stella McCartney and Rick Owens.
While Owens produced a beautifully wearable foulard with a print of a futurist sculpture, ecologically-minded McCartney’s details were written on a giant tubular wad of 20 “Trashion Bags” — “made of 100% recycled linear low density polyethylene.”
• Balmain x L’Oreal party
Posters promoting Balmain and L’Oreal’s new lipstick are plastered all around Paris — so it’s little wonder that VIPs turned out aplenty for the lipstick line launch party in the posh Boulevard Saint Germain.
A youthful-looking Pamela Anderson caused a stir at the red carpet photo call in a striped glitter mini-dress and tousled hair. Singer Courtney Love arrived in a trendy oversize dark glittery coat and an embellished, shimmering pastel gown.
Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing posed for cameras alongside Brazilian soccer sensation Neymar, who plays for French club Paris Saint Germain.