PARIS (AP) — Models-of-the-minute Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner provoked double takes from the front row crowd at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday, March 3, appearing to have swapped hair color at Balmain. The playful hair confusion was cheered by front row attendees Kanye West and mother-in-law Kris Jenner.
Here are the other highlights of the fall-winter 2016 shows.
Jenner, 20, opened Balmain’s show in a dramatic pale blue layered cape silhouette.
But the flurry of photographers’ flashes directed at the bold fall-winter outfit was likely intensified by the former brunette’s transformation into an icy blond.
It was a tongue-in-cheek move on the part of Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing.
Adding to the hairstyle drama, Hadid, who’s also 20, strutted out straight after Jenner, and in the place of her enviable blond locks she sported dark hair with a chic center parting.
The hair swap couple posed backstage for a photo that appeared on Balmain’s Twitter account.
Designer Olivier Rousteing’s famed sense of drama reached new heights — for good and for bad — at his fall-winter show for Balmain as the black and mirrored lozenge stone floor of the opulent venue contrasted with stripes on heavily ornamented silhouettes.
Heavy fringing, netting, thick layering, hips sculpted roundly in corset-like ribbed skirts and stone-studded chokers created the sense of weighty opulence alongside decorative fabric embroideries and baroque swirls.
The feel was the late 19th century — and at certain points it evoked the noble dames of the Paris Opera under the Second Empire.
But this was still very 21st century Balmain.
Waists were aggressively cinched, often with the help of big bands, sometimes leading up to a corset bustier.
Metallic sheen leggings shimmered past sexily and there was little subtlety and sense to many of the looks.
LANVIN PRESENTS WITHOUT A DESIGNER
Lanvin is, alongside Christian Dior, one of two major Parisian houses steaming through the fashion seasons without a creative director.
Israeli designer Alber Elbaz parted ways in October of last year after 15 years of his creative tenure under which storied Lanvin saw its reputation restored as one of France’s most creative brands.
Thursday saw the label present its first collection without him.
Celebrity guests Kelly Rowland and Ciara ensured that the media interest was maintained in the fall-winter collection — but in the clothes themselves there was the slight feeling that something was missing.
A beautiful gathered and ruffled one shoulder cocktail dress in cream hit a high, as did a Katharine Hepburn-style 1940s strong-shouldered black coat with fox fur slug chicly over the shoulder.
But in many of the 46 looks there was something off kilter in the fit of the silhouette.
The blue-gray metallic tuxedo that opened the show made an attempt to play on eveningwear-as-officewear with its ruffled frills, but didn’t quite work since it slouched down the model.
CHLOE’S FEMININE GAUCHO
Designer Clare Waight Keller took the famed Chloe girl on a Seventies-infused tour of the world of the gaucho in Thursday’s fall-winter ready-to-wear morning show.
Models strode past guests at Paris’ Grand Palais in leather boots in black, tan, brown and cobalt blue — in often billowing and ruffle-laced silhouettes and 70s-style center partings.
Neckties and ponchos conjured up the spirit of the famed Argentine or Uruguay-style cowboys —who became greatly admired and renowned in legends, folklore and in literature from the 18th century.
But Chloe— the house that was credited with inventing women’s ready-to-wear in the first place — is for girls at heart.
Thus the Gaucho styles were translated for a feminine palette — with poncho, or cape-style silhouettes — coming as a ruffled dress in blue, or elsewhere a pale peach silk top.
RICK OWENS COCOONS
Paris’ enfant terrible Rick Owens presented a typically strong show Thursday evening — replete with abstract creative flourishes that saw models becoming organically cocooned in material.
In one of the U.S.-born designer’s most colorful shows in recent memory, yards of purple, umber, jade, gray and off-white fabric was conjured up in divergent shapes —sometimes ruffled and draped and gathered down the body, or exploding horizontally across the bust.
Nylon candy floss-style wigs signaled the obligatory turn to the abstract for the lauded 53-year-old designer — as they completely enveloped the models’ heads, with the silken feeling of a spider’s web or a sticky butterfly cocoon.
Despite this description, many of these creative looks were also highly saleable, and for once Owens’ paid attention to the female form — highlighting shoulder, and presenting some billowing pant designs that enviably elongated the leg.
CARVEN’S FOR THE YOUNG
A sanitized, wholly on-trend Sixties look infused the aesthetic at Carven.
Minis, tight pants, and voluminous coats defined silhouettes, while sequined sashes featured on tops alongside color-rich prints, that mirrored the marbled-effect panels that lined the Tuileries’ Gardens show venue.
Styles were very young, and might appeal to the same crowd as Louis Vuitton does under Nicolas Ghesquiere.
There were some nice twists to the ethnic trend, especially in the coats, which were the collection’s strongest point.
This diverse fall-winter show might have benefited from more focus.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP
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