It Was Black, White and Bold All Over at Red-Carpet Ready Armani Prive Couture Show

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Armani Prive

Tina Turner, Elizabeth Debicki, Anya Taylor-Joy, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert turned out for the show.

Giorgio Armani proved once again why he's long been king of the red carpet, turning out a star-studded front row for his couture Armani Prive show on Tuesday in Paris.

Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabelle Huppert, Anya Taylor-Joy, Melanie Thierry, Kristin Scott Thomas and — record scratch — Tina Turner all turned out for the evening parade.

Turner's presence proved that even the famous get starstruck, with uber-producer Lawrence Bender asking Binoche to snap him with Turner, and Huppert herself taking a selfie seated in the front row. (Sadly, news broke later in the day that her eldest son, Craig Turner, had died in Los Angeles.)

The first half of the whopping 95 looks was a monochrome palette of black and cream, with shimmering suits, harlequin checks and delicate blouses with dramatic cape sleeves. Just as it seemed to cross into somber territory, the designer showed that he cannot resist color. Clues emerged: first a pair of big, bright coral earrings, then a teal strap and bag, before an explosion of color in a wild bird's nest of tulle. The colors were bold and the dresses big, with full, swishy skirts. Pink was his weak point in this half, though he used the fuchsia shade frequently, gowns with peplums and large flower appliques read a bit too bridal party. 

Armani knows his audience: older, richer and refined grande dames. Yet there were moments of youth and whimsy too. One velvet gown embroidered with crossed arms was full of attitude. Too bad Kristen Stewart is a Chanel girl; crop it into a mini and it would be perfect for her. Maybe another surly starlet will wear it. Turner also seemed to get a chuckle out of a very mini bag worn as a necklace.

Models wore embellished garrison caps — following Chanel, it's the second time today the military style made an appearance in sequins and sparkles. Do you really need three to make a trend? With two major houses behind it, it's an early contender to become this season's leather beret.

The move from the cavernous Palais de Chaillot, where Armani usually shows, to the more elegant Italian embassy served him well, even though it required two shows and created a bit of a celebrity scrum in its narrow rooms.

Aside from the Turner photographer frenzy, Debicki and Huppert played catch up. The two co-starred in The Maids at Cate Blanchett's Australian theater company. Debicki said she wished they could revive it in her new home of London after playing in sleepy Sydney and a onetime run in New York back in 2014.

Taylor-Joy was on a brief break to take in the couture shows after shooting five films last year (including M. Night Shyamalan's Glass and X-Men spinoff The New Mutants) before heading into three shoots this fall. "But I'm happy like that. If I have too much time, I get into trouble."

As for wearing black velvet trousers on a sweltering day, Debicki joked: "It's not one of my, perhaps, most well-thought-out life choices." Still she remains devoted to the trendy fabric and said she hopes to wear one of the structured velvet gowns on a red carpet soon.

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