Paris Fashion Week

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Chanel’s camellia-themed lineup, LV goes playful, Stella McCartney shows horses, Pierre Cardin returns

PARIS — French fashion label Chanel took to a darkened runway for creative director Virginie Viard’s fall-winter collection on Tuesday, showing a glamorous line-up infused with references to a key brand symbol, the camellia flower.

The entire set was built around towering, white camellia sculptures that faced the audience, seated in steep risers ringing the space, a sprawling exhibition hall south of the Eiffel Tower. (See the show here:Fall-Winter 2023/24 Ready-to-Wear Show Stella McCartney UK)

“There’s been so much leather and feathers, especially on the runway this season,” she told Reuters after the show. “I just really want to show everyone in the world — and the world of fashion — that you don’t really need to do that,” she said. Materials used in her collection are derived from mushrooms and apples, for instance, and wine grape waste was used to make the label’s curvy S-Wave bag.

At the show in the Ecole Militaire stables in Paris, seven horses, guided by their trainer, Jean-Francois Pignon, performed individually and in formation.

With a nod to their fellow performers, some models wore horse patterns, while others carried images of horse photographs taken by McCartney’s sister and her mother.

Their high heels sank into the sandy floor as they paraded long, tailored jackets, cinched at the waist, furry overcoats, some resembling dappled horses, and, in contrast, silky asymmetric dresses lined with lace.

Actress Jessica Alba, singer Avril Lavigne and model and designer Camila McConaughey watched it all from the front row, alongside members of LVMH chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault’s family. LVMH owns a minority stake in the label and McCartney serves as environmental adviser to the entire luxury group.

Her connection with horses goes deep.

“I’ve been riding since I was born,” said Ms. McCartney. “We grew up in the middle of nowhere, really, bareback on horses. I just remember falling off them all the time and getting back on all the time.”

PIERRE CARDINFrench label Pierre Cardin returned to the official Paris fashion week schedule for the first time in decades, sending out a colorful, off-beat lineup of styles that recalled its space age heyday. (Watch the show here:www.palaiscardin.com)

Models paraded two-toned suit jackets with triangular shaped lapels, asymmetrical dresses and capes, shimmery gold trousers and thin ties that formed an arrow-like shape at the tip.

Attendants flashed spotlights on models as they made their way down the temporary runway, set up in the label’s empty flagship store that is undergoing renovations.

Spinning holograms were projected in the windows of the store — located across the street from France’s Elysee Palace — and one model carried the three-dimensional projection in a handbag.

The late designer’s great nephew, Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, who took the reins of the label following Mr. Cardin’s death in 2020, said he worked with the design studio to pare back the looks, which were made from recycled materials as well as fabric that sat in storage for decades.

Seeking to spark interest in the label among younger crowds, Basilicati Cardin said he set up competitions to bring on talent from other countries, like Mexico and South Korea, for stints at the label.

“My goal is to manage the label and bring it on track,” he said, speaking to journalists after the show as he greeted guests including French singer Mireille Mathieu. — Reuters