Celebrities and lions inhabiting the same space? Gilding everywhere? Diamonds as a hair accessory? It can only mean one thing: couture continues in Paris. And you can bet c'est magnifique.
Feminine mystique: Gemma Arterton showed off her masculine side at the Armani Privé show in Paris in a white silk blouse with black bow, black peg-leg trousers and a bright red clutch bag (which matched her red lips). What do you think of her androgynous style?
Meanwhile, other celebs in the designer's front row included Claire Danes, in a pastel strapless dress, and stylista Daphne Guinness, who showed off her miniscule waist in a white silk number and wore diamonds in her hair. Her fierceness factor climbed even higher when she was snapped hopping onto a motorbike as she exited the Chanel show later on. Swoon.
Back to the clothes... Armani based his collection around the gemstone amber, so there was plenty of variation of the autumnal shade, from beige to copper to caramel to bronze hues, on the catwalk. Daywear including tweed suits and cashmere coats - chic executive fashion - made way for luxe satin evening gowns with plenty of dripping crystals to satisfy any celeb looking for a red carpet number.
Taming the beast: Karl Lagerfeld always knows how to deliver something spectacular (remember the dripping glacier centre-piece from his a/w 2010 ready-to-wear show?), and yesterday's couture show was no different, with an enormous gilded lion, paw perched on a giant pearl, on display, designed by set designers from the Paris Opera. The centre-piece was an homage to Coco Chanel's star sign, Leo, and the gilded theme carried on throughout the collection, which focused on pared-down silhouettes with plenty of embellishment, down to the ornately accessorized booties shown with every outfit. Lagerfeld's final look was a playful take on the King of the Jungle theme, with the 'groom' - model Baptiste Giabiconi - sporting a stuffed lion's head.
Front-row Gossip: XOXO! Leighton Meester and Blake Lively, who have been spotted filming scenes for their hit series in Paris all week, were fashion opposites in Chanel's front row yesterday. While Meester went for a tough, rock chick look à la Lagerfeld in an embellished leather dress with smoky eyes, Lively went for a bright and airy summer style in her flowing, printed frock and loose waves. For fans of the show, Lively hinted at what's to come next season to WWD: "It involves hidden identities and Chuck and Blair bumping into each other, and just love affairs and beautiful clothes." Other celebs spotted front row were Jessica Alba, Milla Jovovich and a platinum blonde Rinko Kikuchi.
Model moment: Carmen Kass opened up the Armani Privé show - the return of one of fashion's big names (who isn't a teenager) signifies Armani's commitment to dressing real women. Kass' chic honey-blonde mane provided the hair inspiration for the rest of the models, who all sported their blonde locks down and with a sexy side-parting.
Mexican motifs: Riccardo Tisci abandoned the catwalk in favour of a gilded apartment on the Place Vendôme to showcase his latest couture collection, a 10-piece line-up inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo and her interest in the Mexican Day of the Dead, which played to Tisci's baroque and Gothic interests. We're most impressed with the incredible hand-craftsmanship and embellishment the looks required - one triple-layered silk gown took around 1,600 hours of hand-embroidery while several others took around 1,000 hours to complete. Talk about a personal touch.
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