Paris Fashion Week: Valentino Turns Up the Volume With Starry Front Row

Valentino 2019 show -Alexandra Shipp and Kathryn Newton - Getty Images-H 2019
Getty Images

Camilla Cabello, Naomi Campbell, Kathryn Newton and Alexandra Shipp watched Valentino's collection take flight, while Maisie Williams made Givenchy's front row.

Watching a Valentino show, it's easy to forget that the September show is ready-to-wear, not couture, as the clothes are so exquisite. For spring-summer 2020, the brand's creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli pared things down with a parade of white shirt-dresses, before he expanded into more elaborate dresses that worked without looking overwrought; nearly every one was red carpet-ready.

Camilla Cabello, Kathryn Newton and Alexandra Shipp “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” from the front row. Clothes aside, Aaliyah star Shipp was also fangirl-ing over seeing legendary Vogue editor Grace Coddington. “I wasn't ready for this,” she said. “When I walked in and saw her, it was like, 'Oh, so this is what this is!'” Shipp said she found Coddington's 2012 memoir inspiring and implored her seatmates to buy a copy.

Naomi Campbell and Amber Valetta rocked out in the front row, with Valetta so enamored with the vibrant verbena color of the seating that she laid across the bright benches to get the perfect selfie. And the Parisian pastime of peeping into other people's open windows was delightfully on display, as neighbors across the street set up candlelight dinners on their terraces to watch the runway with binoculars.

In the mix were voluminous tiered skirts and pouf-sleeve tops, a look ushered in in part by Piccioli when he took over Valentino three years ago. After all, he's the man behind Tracey Ross' showstopping Emmys dress last year, and here he showed the same bright silks with more shaped sleeves. The collection was bursting with color: plums and pinks, tangerine and teal, while the hems of white dresses appeared as if dip-dyed with colorful flora. The models' eye makeup, adorned with glittery golden wings, looked ready to take flight.

Maisie Williams has been making the most of her fashion week. She swooped in at the last minute — after the lights were down  — to grab her seat at the Givenchy show, where Arya Stark may have been an inspiration. “That girl is a tomboy” was on repeat as the first models hit the runway. Kaia Gerber, a near carbon copy of her mom, Cindy Crawford, echoed her mother in a blush-colored bra top and leather skirt.  

An homage to the 1990s, it was all bleached jeans and boxy blazers, before designer Clare Waight Keller moved into bright floral prints with rounded, ruched sleeves that were reminiscent of urban armor. Dresses had floral appliques, while some fuller skirts were paired in a fresh way with coordinating shorts. Pretty practical.