Art, color and aquatic musing defined yesterday’s energetic installment of Paris Couture week – with fashion insiders dashing from fall-winter collections to celebrity-filled soirees. Here are some of the highlights. Schiaparelli’s love of art turns diaphanous Elsa Schiaparelli has famously blurred the lines between fashion and art. Designer Bertrand Guyon took the iconic Parisian couturier’s passion for painting Monday to produce a diaphanous collection of couture gowns that fluttered by guests at Paris’ Place Vendome. With hints of the 1930s draping styles and high necks that defined the late Schiaparelli’s heyday, Guyon placed allusions to Cubism and Surrealism at the heart of the show.
A flame red heart made of silk ruffles adored the waist of a voluminous, layered black tulle bustier gown. A white tuxedo jacket sported an embroidery of a sparkling eye and motifs of moons at different stages of shadow sparkled on a bodice. A dragonfly belt clasp gave a silk bustier dress in ochre a magical quality. It wasn’t just nostalgia, though in the 36-gown collection. Guyon added some stylish contemporary twists. The front lapel of a square monochrome jacket was cut to evoke Cubism – the side of a guitar, alongside a panel featuring a musical score. The look then frothed out thanks to a sheer tulle skirt, and knee-high leather boots gave it a street-wise kick.
Iris Van Herpen hits 10 years, goes aquatic
Celebrating ten years at the helm of her fashion house, lauded conceptual couture designer Iris Van Herpen took a watery trip down memory lane for her mesmerizing, aquatic couture spectacle. The near-illusionist backdrop had guests reaching for their cameras. Van Herpen has a penchant for the dramatic and Monday’s show did not disappoint: Musicians were encased inside a water-filled tank with instruments to accompany the collection.
The water theme dripped out into the surreal, brooding couture creations that revisited the Dutch wunderkind’s signature fusion of organic forms with technology and mechanics. White gowns, constructed of tendrils or fibers, provoked myriad interpretations – evoking simultaneously the lines of a sound wave, the rippling sea or the gills of a fish. The silhouettes were varied but infused with large Asian-style sleeves and exaggerated proportions. Motifs on a floor-length Asian-style gown resembled fossils buried at the bottom of the sea, while a curved front panel of a skirt jutted out three-dimensionally like the silvery, metallic fins of a fish.
Carla Bruni signs at Amfar dinner
Popstar and former French First Lady Carla Bruni serenaded VIP guests at AmfAR’s fundraising dinner and auction at Paris’ Petit Palais to raise money for the global fight against HIV and AIDS. Bruni sang her new song “Enjoy the Silence,” as well as a soulful rendition of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You,” before the energetic auction began Sunday night.
Among the objects was a rare print of a publicity shot of late singer David Bowie for his LP “Diamond Dogs” – taken by photographer Terry O’Neill – that was snapped up for 20,000 euros ($22,700). And a week on a 44-meter (144-foot) yacht went under the hammer for 115,000 euros ($130,800). The evening also marked the Paris launch of amfAR’s new fragrance, Gala, which was conceived as a tribute to the Foundation’s founding international chairman, Elizabeth Taylor, the first celebrity to have her own line of fragrances.
Chaumet’s secret circus party
“The Artist” star Berenice Bejo, Spanish actress Rossy de Palma and “Harry Potter” star Clemence Poesy were among guests at jeweler Chaumet’s circus-themed gala Sunday night that aims to promote its upcoming high jewelry line. VIPS guests were picked up outside Chaumet’s Place Vendome headquarters by a vintage 1936 bus and jerkily driven to a secret location, slurping champagne.
There were gasps of wonder as the bus pulled up to the “Musee des Arts Forains,” a little-known private museum near the Seine River that houses a collection of funfair objects. Inside, guests saw merry-go-rounds, performers and a hall of mirrors and were served candy floss in a surreal recreated funfair. Chaumet is showcasing its sparkling designs at the end of Paris Couture Week.-AP