Kristen Stewart, Robin Wright hit politically-minded couture

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

PARIS (AP) — "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart stunned crowds at Chanel's Paris couture show Tuesday, revealing an edgy bob in a white Chanel sleeveless mini-dress that showed the 24-year-old is fashion savvy beyond her age.

But the second day of spring-summer collections primarily belonged to couturier-cum-social psychologist Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel's designer apparently happened upon a political solution and the perfect antidote to the Paris terror attacks: Flowers.

Golden Globe-winner Robin Wright, meanwhile, rocked Giorgio Armani's show in a demure black and gray menswear look — with a perfect menswear accessory, boyfriend actor Ben Foster — 15 years her junior.

Here are the tidbits and highlights from the 2015 haute couture collections, including show reports for Stephane Rolland, Armani Prive, and Chanel.


Chanel's shows are always the hottest ticket in town — a moment where ambitious Lagerfeld asks the earth in set design, and always gets his way. Recent shows have included an imported forest, a spaceship, huge wind turbines, a supermarket, and even an entire boulevard.

So the initial feeling was one of disappointment when faced with Tuesday's rather bland couture set of a forest made of white paper. But it was, of course, a trick.

As soon as the show began, dashing male models entered the catwalk area armed with watering cans. Lo and behold, the white paper flowers unfurled magically to spawn huge tropical colored blossoms, and vivid 3-D Venus flytraps opened. Guests had been transported into a flower pop-up book, which had taken six months to build.

"For people who don't like to read, pop up books are the best," quipped the ever-cutting couturier.



There was a joyous feeling in the air at Chanel.

Perhaps it was to do with the fun surrealism of the sculpted papers flowers, or maybe it came from the clothes themselves: youthful, colorful, fresh and served with a twist of the freedom of the 1960s Sexual Revolution.

Circular stand up collars, A-line minis, bolero jackets and daringly low exposed midriffs defined many of the silhouettes — the latter first popularized in the West during the time of blond bombshell Brigitte Bardot.

"The new cleavage is the stomach," instructed Lagerfeld.

Elsewhere there were flashes of other eras, reimagined. Hemlines often went south to the prudish pre-Sixties midcalf.

Large-brimmed straw "picture hats" from the Fifties were given an imaginative twist with a black, tulle trim. Or cloche hats, embellished with feathers and beads came on long, loose fluttery silk gowns from the Twenties that were modernized with a trim at the hem.

Then there were the incredible, 3-D flower embroideries that evoked the set, billowing across shoulders or at the bottom of coats, ressembling a couture gem mine.

Lagerfeld called it "the flower women of the 21st century."



It's been a bleak time this January following Paris' worst terror attacks in decades.

Eccentric Kaiser Karl says that the Chanel show was just the antidote.

"Especially after this dark, awful beginning to the year there was something like this needed.. There's something about flowers," he said by the giant paper pop-up garden.

"I'm lucky... I live in a very protected world (in fashion.) I can keep something like a dream reality but it's not a reality of daily life," he added, before reaching out for his trademark glass of coke zero that was being patiently held by a butler on a silver platter.



Kate Hudson flashed a buttock at Versace, Rick Owens showed male models' genitals, and now couturier Stephane Rolland is at it, exposing a model's breasts at his otherwise demure and fairy-like couture show.

The French designer's spring-summer display explored his signature themes in a slightly more diaphanous direction than usual: Full skirts in gazar, oversized organic embroideries, and stylish column silhouettes that showed off the natural beauty of the silk fibers.

This season he forwent his go-to color, red, for a subtler palette with lashings of white.

Crinoline was used to great effect underneath diaphanous sheer tulle skirts, and, at the end, guests were amazed by a series of revealing ball gowns. One in black showed off the nipples — and the final number, a white deconstructed bridal gown with a crisscross structure, exposed the just-married model's never-ending legs. It may well have encouraged the best man to ogle.



Wright chatted and laughed with her "X-men: The Last Stand" actor partner, Foster, a relative newcomer on the red carpet circuit. They shared the Armani front row with actresses Paz Vega, Juliette Binoche and Kristin Scott Thomas, who has recently said she's quitting cinema.

In the gentle, 68-piece collection, it was all about Oriental musing for the octogenarian Italian couturier.

A set of haphazardly placed bamboo columns acted as catwalk obstacles for the models who filed by devastatingly stylishly (and slowly) in silk looks that featured bamboo prints and large statement Chinese sashes.

The delicate structure of the Orient was evoked in the jacket silhouette, which featured in nearly half of the catwalk looks. There was a notable, transparent quality to some of the voluminous culottes in gazar, or the almost watery bamboo-effect lace tops.


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