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Let them eat Fenty x Puma!
Pop star Rihanna stormed the Paris runways on Wednesday with her collection for the sneaker giant Puma, bringing her vision of Marie Antoinette to street wear, corseted hoodies, lace skull caps, ruffled knapsacks, bow-front Fenty slides and all.
It was the final event of a day of shows that demonstrated a leveling of this top-down world, with high fashion meeting the street and the gym, and the runway ideal meeting a more attainable reality.
Hosting her show at the baroque Hotel Solomon de Rothschild, Rihanna drew Off White designer and Kanye collaborator Virgil Abloh, Lemonade stylist B. Akerlund, stylist Mel Ottenberg and designer (and former Rihanna stylist) Adam Selman to the front row. And yes, that was Anwar Hadid (brother of Gigi and Bella) walking the runway.
There were girls in do-rags, guys in pearls, it was a gender-bending mash-up of privilege and pop star, featuring haute riffs on athletic wear rendered in pale macaron shades of pink, lavender, mint green and cream, brimming with frilly details. Brocade anoraks peeled away from the body, attached to the shoulders with grosgrain ribbons; hoodies laced up the front like corsets; and baseball caps were veiled in tulle.
Chandeliers down @rihanna #FENTYxPUMA #pfw pic.twitter.com/0SC0GlJvi9
— @Booth (@Booth) September 28, 2016
After the show, guests were treated to glasses of pink champagne from Jay-Z’s “Ace of Spades” vintage, and free year-long passes to his music streaming site Tidal, which video cast the show live. The collection was sugary, maybe too much in some bites, but fans will no doubt eat it up, particularly the platform sneakers and other accessories.
It was a fitting Parisian follow to the more gritty collection she showed in February at New York Fashion Week. And it made me wonder where Rihanna will take Fenty next?
MARIE ANTOINETTE MEETS STREETWEAR: Models on the Fenty x Puma spring 2017 runway. (Photos: Getty Images)
At Lanvin, A Real World Revolution
From the new guard, to the new old guard, the other big moment of the day was designer Bouchra Jarrar’s first runway collection for Lanvin, the oldest surviving French fashion house in continuous existence.
Jarrar, a young, relatively unknown French designer who was previously designing her own namesake couture label, was charged with stepping into the very big shoes of the beloved designer Alber Elbaz, who left in 2015. And she did it not by erasing everything he’d done, but by building on it, and adding her own practical spin.
The collection was a covetable mix of sex appeal and at-home-in-your-own-skin ease, with pajama style striped silk pants and loosely belted shawl collar jackets; white evening shirts with just the right amount of sheerness to reveal and conceal, worn with tuxedo jackets; mini dresses, even a printed caftan or two. A tweedy black biker vest, worn over pants, and striped cotton sleep shorts paired with a belted white shirt and ivory sleeveless coat, grounded the collection in a casual street chic. Crystal mesh scarves and tassel pendants pinned to the neck added sparkle.
LANVIN DEBUT: Pieces from Lanvin’s spring 2017 show. (Photos: Getty Images)
Another notable point that spoke volumes about Jarrar’s vision was the healthy shape of a single appendage: an arm. Models’ arms are usually so painfully thin, they look like you could break them like sticks. But at Jarrar’s Lanvin, out came a woman dressed in a sleeveless, lacquered fur vest and black trousers who didn’t look like a model at all, she looked like me or you — on a Paris runway, which is its own kind of revolution.
Jarrar’s sensible approach extended to footwear, too — crystal encrusted flat slides were paired with most every look, including Karlie Kloss’ sensational sheer finale skirt and tuxedo jacket combination — again, just the right amount to reveal and conceal. It was a really smart start.
REVEAL AND CONCEAL: Models on the Lanvin spring 2017 runway. (Photos: Getty Images)
John Galliano Got His Groove Back
John Galliano was fashion’s enfant terrible when he was fired from Dior in 2011 after being recorded on a cell phone making racially insensitive remarks during a drunken rant in a Paris bar. And with his latest outing for Maison Margiela, his fourth for his new employer, he came full circle.
His collection was a spectacular meditation on our connected world, the same connected world that cost him his job, and forced him to reboot his life.
The show began with snippets of John F. Kennedy’s famous Moon Shot Speech, and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” One of the first looks was a black T-shirt dress with a modest graphic of a hand holding two flowers attached to one stem. It made an impression, a poignant symbol of coming together in a time of incredible divisiveness in France, Britain, America and elsewhere.
CONNECTED: Models on the Maison Margiela spring 2017 runway. (Photos: Getty Images)
One by one, models came out wearing headsets, and earrings and face jewelry resembling antennas.
All that hardware was juxtaposed with soft wear: shiny leggings; sheer color-blocked anoraks; skirts and dresses that peeled away from the body like wetsuits coming off apres surf, backpacks with yoga mats attached, groovy neoprene athletic sandals and booties. Skirts embroidered with pink metallic paillettes were balanced with earthy checked jackets, and colorful cable knit sweaters rolled into scarves that looked like therapeutic neck pillows.
MEDITATION: Models on the Maison Margiela spring 2017 runway. (Photos: Getty Images)
Galliano, like everyone it seems, is trying to find his Zen. He’s been working on himself, perhaps in Los Angeles, where he’s spent a lot of time, including a trip in April when he dropped in for a preview of the “Reigning Men” menswear exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art.
Has he taken up yoga? Surfing? Soul Cycle? Whatever it is, it seems to be recharging him creatively and personally. How far he’s come from his days of grandiose runway bows at Dior, wearing a different costume every season, strutting with body guards at his sides like he was king of the world.
Nowadays, he doesn’t even peek his head out.
Great @Margiela show from John Galliano. Meditation on the present and future – tech, fitness, more. #PFW pic.twitter.com/gtaKaI9WaB
— @Booth (@Booth) September 28, 2016
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