Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Viktor & Rolf, Dior. AFP/Getty Images and WireImage
Not all of the action is in LA this weekend. Paris is still abuzz with celebrities, champagne and fashion. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend...
Star struck: The Oscars may be tonight, but over the weekend we spotted some serious star power in the front rows of the Paris shows. Charlize Theron looked radiant at Dior, while Lindsay Lohan made a late appearance in a very girly outfit: a pink chiffon frock, pink fingerless gloves and a white fur stole. She looked more rock 'n roll at Viktor & Rolf the next day, where she wore an all-black ensemble, hippy headband and shades. Jared Leto also sat front row at Dior in a black puffer jacket, studded jeans and colourful Nike kicks and the actor/musician also randomly showed up at Lanvin, where he was in the company of fashionistas like Inès de la Fressange and Jade Jagger. We've also spotted actresses like Lou Doillon, Fanny Ardant, Harry Potter's Clémence Poésy and Marisa Berenson hitting up the fashion week scene this weekend. Beth Ditto went to both Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood Gold Label, where she admired the designer's mustachioed bluestocking girls in their dishevelled wraps, splattered-paint tops and smeared eye makeup. Jane Birkin was spotted at Jean-Paul Gaultier, as was Stephen Baldwin (perhaps looking for further potential reality TV opportunities?), while Anna Wintour made it a family affair by bringing daughter Bee Shaffer along to the show.
Model moment: Viktor & Rolf know how to deliver a fashion week spectacle, and this season they picked up from where there Russian Doll show (starring model Maggie Rizer over 10 years ago) left off. Their model de jour for A/W 2010, in a collection that was meant to showcase how the extreme can also be wearable, was '90s icon Kristen McMenamy, who looked incredible (and slightly overcome with the weight) as she emerged in an enormous, exaggerated black coat, with lots of layers of clothing underneath. The designers removed layer by layer and dressed the other models in each creation for their respective catwalk turns. Once McMenamy was left standing in a nude bodysuit, the process was reversed, with the designers dressing her in a strapless dress which they turned into a cape (with the aid of a few drawstrings) and a ball skirt that became a humongous ruff. We love some good, old fashion magic.
Family ties: Undercover's Jun Takahashi knows how to keep fashion in the family - he chose his wife to model this season's offerings. To showcase the collection in a real-world atmosphere, she stood in front of projections of quotidian scenes like the supermarket, the train station and the street corner. Considering he believes in doing the minimal to maximum effect, we have to applaud this money- and time-saving trick. It must have also given him some major brownie points with his wife.
Bigger is better?: While Mark Fast gave us plus-size girls, Comme des Garçon's Rei Kawakubo gave us padded ones, with pillow-y fabric placed on shoulders, hips, busts and backs. Are we seeing the stirrings of a fashion revolution here?
Horsing around: Like his Couture show, John Galliano's RTW collection for Dior was equestrian in theme, with leather capes, jodphurs paired with tweed jackets and georgette chiffon dresess toughened up with thigh-high leather boots. The side plait looks like it will still be a hit for autumn; at Dior, it was encased in two puffy bunches of hair on either side, for a messy country girl look. Giddy-up.
And the bride wore black: At Yohji Yamamoto's show, that is. His conceptual collection in navy, ivory and black was given a shock of colour as bits of models' manes (including the top, in a kind of hairnet-shape) were died turquoise, pink and orange, à la our younger days when we used Kool-Aid packets to similar effect.
In other hair (accessory) news from the weekend, the wildest headpieces go to Maison Martin Margiela (minus Margiela, who is no longer with the house). The designers sent out massive furry headpieces with long flaps on either side. It seemed like the perfect cover-up for a nuclear winter.
Lanvin's ladies: Alber Elbaz's Lanvin show is always one of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week, and this season was no exception, with his mix of simple, architectural silhouettes and amazingly embellished pieces (and we're talking major embellishment: fur, rhinestones, beads, metal, wood and more, over metallic fabrics), which had an Afrocentric tilt. We also loved the jet black, sleek straight, fringed hairstyles models sported. Another super cute anecdote from the show? Waiters in oversized bowties handed out champagne and lollipops to guests beforehand.
Global Gaultier: The world was Gaultier's oyster as he took inspiration from Morocco, Russia, Togo, Greece and other countries (think an African turban paired with cowboy boots and a peacoat, and you get the idea). The mash-up of references led to an eclectic mix of colours and prints and some absolutely gorgeous pieces.