PARIS (AP) — In a low-key Givenchy hoody, actor Idris Elba bucked this week’s trend and brought some rare A-list star power to Paris Fashion Week on Sunday.
Here are some highlights of the fall-winter collections being shown in Paris, including Givenchy and the relaunch of Poiret.
GIVENCHY’S DARK GLAMOUR
Beyond designer Clare Waight Keller’s gentle manner lies a powerful creative psyche that’s dark, brooding and gritty.
That revelation was brought into focus at Sunday’s strong collection for Givenchy in which the British designer shed her usual politeness and delved deep into the night.
Big pimp-style fur coats with stylish statement markings opened the collection alongside unfurling cuffed boots in soft leather that evoked the feeling of being hurriedly put on.
This season sees “the air thick with sleaze and danger,” said the house.
The sharp-edged styles — which included big soft floppy leather belts in brown, black and tan, houndstooth suits with razor shoulders, as well as zebra and leopard prints — set the time dial to the late ’80s.
A spattering of menswear styles was a nice complement to the urban grit — including an oversize white coat and marl jacket underneath that captured the heady days of the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards.
The collection shows that Waight Keller is growing in confidence at the storied label.
IDRIS ELBA AT GIVENCHY
As many of his Hollywood peers were gearing up for the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Elba joined fashion insiders in Paris to see the latest chapter of Waight Keller’s evolving vision for the house a full year into her creative stewardship.
“I’m excited about it,” Elba, a rare face at Fashion Week shows, told The Associated Press.
Acting is still the 45-year-old star’s main preoccupation and he took the opportunity to talk about his latest filming projects. Currently filming the latest season of British series “Luther,” for which he won a Golden Globe, Elba is trying his hand at a new skill: comedy.
“The next thing that comes out is a thing called “In The Long Run,” which is a TV show about my life,” he said.
He acknowledged “it’s my first time jumping into comedy” — but said “I’m loving it” so far.
THE RETURN OF POIRET
After an incredible 90-year hiatus, the famed house of iconic designer Paul Poiret — who freed women from corsets — has returned to the Paris runways.
It’s an incredible comeback for a design house considered to be among the most influential of the 20th century.
Paris-born Poiret’s house collapsed in the 1920s after the tumult of World War I changed the fashion business landscape — but his legacy lived on.
Poiret is credited with the revolutionary development of draping in a departure from traditional tailoring and pattern-making, and is closely associated with the conception of the hobble skirt and harem pants.
Poiret’s relaunch is one of a number of revamped heritage houses in recent years including Vionnet and Schiaparelli.
Such a grand come back demands an equally grand display. Guests were treated to a dramatic “couture” presentation inside the historic nave of the westerly part of the former Louvre Palace.
The Chinese-born couturiere Yiqing Yin unveiled her debut ready-to-wear collection for the house famous for its loose, fluid silhouettes.
Yin captured the spirit of Poiret, who banished the corset in his designs, in her 39 soft, gently flowing styles in a rich and varied color palette.
An enveloping loose shawl in white and gray was wrapped asymmetrically around the shoulders as the hem of a sparkly metallic dress peeped out. An Oriental Chinese red satin pant suit beautifully captured the mood of the 1920s and Poiret’s penchant for styles of the east.
Yet the designs, which very much bore her fingerprint, were never overly reverential.
Yin used large bows and belts to cinch the waist in a contemporary style, showing that this Poiret woman lives firmly in the present day.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K