PARIS (AP) — High fashion equals high drama, as proved by the latest installment of Paris Fashion Week on Monday.
A hooded Rihanna tried her best to pass unseen at the Stella McCartney show but caused yet more mayhem at the fall-winter ones. Meanwhile, the world’s most influential fashion critic, Suzy Menkes, announced she’s ditching newspapers after a quarter of a century.
Then, there was Swinging Sixties icon Marianne Faithfull who lambasted a reporter after getting squashed at a show.
Here are the highlights and reports from the ready-to-wear collections.
RIHANNA FAILS TO PASS INCOGNITO AT STELLA MCCARTNEY
Try as she might to be discreet – enveloped in a green-brown Stella McCartney hooded coat with huge peaked retro shades – Rihanna just had no luck.
Within seconds of her arrival she unleashed her star-power magnetism on the paparazzi, who followed her backstage where she hobnobbed with British model of the moment Cara Delevigne.
A radiant Stella McCartney, meanwhile, hugged the pops tar and exclaimed: “She is amazing.”
STELLA MCCARTNEY HAS FUN WITH ZIPPERS, STIRRUPS, ROPE
McCartney’s show brimmed with ideas and plays on utilitarian features.
Zippers featured as abstract embroidery all over coats and suits that glistened like ripples of water.
This sporty theme – a McCartney signature – was seen again as mountaineering cords used as embroidered motifs on storm gray tweeds.
Menswear pants sported stirrups and elastic gymnastic bands were wrapped under platform shoes – hybrids of an office shoe mixed with a sneaker in red, black, beige, gold and a beautiful pale blue.
Apart from a spattering of tie-dye looks that appeared a bit washed out, it was a great collection.
Only a class designer such as McCartney can pull off using a sporty, outdoorsy and menswear muse – and still produce a feminine show.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL BLASTS REPORTER
After being squashed on the front row as journalists tried to get near Rihanna, Seventies British singing icon Marianne Faithfull got annoyed. She blasted a reporter for asking the “Diamonds” singer, sitting four seats down, a question about “12 Years a Slave” winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Sixty-six-year-old Faithfull, who first found fame as Mick Jagger’s girlfriend in the 60s, attended the Paris show to support longtime friend McCartney.
She overheard the Oscars question put to Rihanna and interrupted: “That’s a ridiculous question… Get a new job!”
The journalist replied: “What’s your job?”
Rihanna didn’t notice the exchange.
END OF AN ERA, AS SUZY MENKES QUITS NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY
She’s the doyenne of fashion with the instantly recognizable gathered fringe.
And now newspaper critic Suzy Menkes, 70, is ending her 25-year reign as fashion editor for the International Herald Tribune (now the International New York Times) confirming to the AP she’s quit her post.
“I’m leaving the International New York Times and I’m going to Conde Naste,” she said, saying she’s excited to move on from papers.
“I’m especially thrilled to be online because with newspapers, you know… But I’ve had a wonderful career in print,” she added, without elaborating.
When asked if she thought that the time was up for newspapers, which have experienced a steady decline in sales worldwide with the rise of online news. she replied: “No, of course not.”
Menkes’ new post will be International Editor for Vogue magazine, across all countries except the U.S.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI PERFUMES THE AIR, BUT NOT THE CLOTHES
Sweet rose perfume wafted through the air. But it was misleading.
Giambattista Valli’s fall-winter show, in fact, took a turn away from the saccharine, feminine styles that have graced recent seasons.
And the collection was all the all the better for it.
The first looks were the strongest, a series of complex black and white mottled gowns with A-line skirts. They showcased great textural play with optical patterning that at times resembled the markings of a butterfly, alongside exaggerated proportions. (The butterfly effect is an on-trend style also seen at the Celine and Chloe shows.)
The show’s flower prints weren’t that new or inspiring, but Valli perfected a beautiful new silhouette feature, comprising of open fabric swirls at the hip.
ELIE SAAB’S GOES DARK, NOT LIGHT, AFTER ANGELINA JOLIE COUP
After the red carpet coup of dressing Angelina Jolie for the Academy Awards in a greige, embellished couture tulle gown, the Lebanese designer should be in high spirits.
However the fall-winter show saw the Lebanese designer in a dark mood, in the colors at least.
Rich dark merlot and emerald came along slim cinched-waisted gowns sometimes in a vintage looking degrade and some business-minded suits.
The staple, frothily-effervescent light silks were replaced by their darker, sexier sister in black with small flashes of colors provided by prints of flowers. Elis Saab packs no surprises but remains hugely popular.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP