All eyes on Cooper and Garner at Versace couture in Paris
PARIS (AP) — Celebrities met designs replete with sparkle and tailoring at the start of Paris Couture Week Monday. Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2016 collections:
VERSACE FRONT ROW
Season after season, Donatella Versace wields her enviable address book at Paris Fashion Week to add magic to the Versace brand. Sunday's late show was testament to this, boasting actors Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner and model Naomi Campbell on the front row — kitted out, of course, in Versace.
All eyes were on Garner, who rocked an Atelier Versace silk cady dress from the fall 2016 collection with pale blue inserts and a high slit, as she chatted engagingly with her "Alias" co-star, Cooper, who looked relaxed in a black hooded bomber.
Campbell had the best look, though, revealing enviable inches of leg in a fully beaded Versace micro dress — that at times impeded her mobility — and a matching beaded bomber.
"It's too short," Campbell exclaimed at one point, as she tried to negotiate herself around the front row to chat with some acquaintances.
VERSACE IS CAUGHT IN THE MOMENT
Atelier Versace experimented with dramatic form in its twisty, crisscrossed and draped ode to female empowerment.
Though this was a carefully planned spectacle and with models who walked more slowly than we've come to expect from Donatella — the aim of the designs, including silk gowns and pant looks, was to evoke spontaneity.
This was achieved with some success via draping and volume play with details of the clothes caught still in time.
Draped duchesse satin was dramatically twisted, for instance, as if frozen in a moment.
The program notes called it "an exploration of form that runs through the collection." It was seen again in creative twisted knots of leather in high heels that fell with purposeful nonchalance. At times, they perhaps seemed overly floppy.
Elsewhere, clusters of Swarovski crystals glistened on a cashmere coat with back draping.
"I love the elegance, sophistication and drama of today's woman," Versace said of her show.
The 34 looks were all of that, but could have perhaps benefited from a small shot of energy.
SCHIAPARELLI's CIRCUS SHOW
Bertrand Guyon's third collection for Schiaparelli delved into the history of the storied house, drawing inspiration from the couturier's influential Circus collection of 1938.
It lent itself well to a show full of sheen, shoulder and eccentricity.
Large surrealistic embroidered motifs sparkled with images of butterflies, circus balls, eyes, lips and one silver gown shimmered elegantly with a Ferris wheel set amid a funfair.
Elsa Schiaparelli, who died in 1973, famously mixed in to her designs references to her great surrealist friends who included Salvador Dali.
Guyon stayed close to this heritage.
Like a flamboyant circus costume, a midnight velvet column dress sported exquisite straight, stiff arms that stood up squarely above the model's physical shoulder. It cut a unique silhouette against a sheer midriff and a gold bar covering the nipples.
But the real devil was in the back detail.
Like in the 30s, Schiaparelli's heyday, backs were scooped, draped and accentuated in eveningwear. It was a simple, yet effective formula.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP