Putting on the glitz
By Iris Edén Santiago
Special to The STAR
The city that doesn’t disappoint, Paris. Fashion giants captured the interest of critics, influencers and observers during Paris Fashion Week with a plethora of runway shows that exuded luxury, elegance, glitter and drama.
Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a vibrant and dramatic haute couture collection that is winning on every front. His Valentino runway was bursting with emotion, truth, justice and reality. Women of various ages and body types made history on a couture catwalk usually controlled by paper-thin models and simply forbidden for the rest of us. But Piccioli changed all that and casted very real ladies who sure stood up to the task. These models elevated each wonderful gown and look with dignity and so much glamor. Piccioli brought color and volume to designs embellished with beads, glitter, style and passion.
Color was also huge with Elie Saab. Fuchsia, silver, raspberry and shades of green and teal were all over the fantastic evening wear the Lebanese designer is famous for. Also big in architectural designs, tiered bows and supersized floral corsages, the collection was a joyful one where princess skirts, beaded bodices and intricate sequined pleating were front and center. These are dresses dreamt of by women all over the globe and -- mostly -- worn by royals and A-listers on red carpets.
María Grazia Chiuri, on the other hand, skipped color altogether. Her proposal at Dior was to elevate the artisanal work created by hundreds of seamstresses behind closed doors. In her own words, a collection to highlight construction, and value craftsmanship and labor. To do this she used a very neutral palette consisting of delicate hues of ecru, ivory, gold, black and gray. Suits, capes, coats and evening wear showcased her vision and the power of technique.
At Chanel, topping Charlotte Casiraghi’s appearance was a tough act to follow. That’s the risk companies take when hiring a brand ambassador who is just bigger than life. And this was the case. Besides the royal princess, the collection fell short in many ways. We saw the signature tweed jackets and suits in black and white, caramel and chocolate hues, and refreshing orange combinations. Winning is the tweed dress cinched at the waist with sleeves covered in abundant blue plumes. A fun and fabulous twist on a classic. Dropped waist dresses, bubble skirts, sequined tops and tweed over ostrich feathers and fringes completed the not-so-exciting collection. The makeup seemed a little confusing with some models parading with black circles around one eye which, far from sexy, resembled bruises.