Dior gets frantic with Cotillard, Bruni, Fanning
PARIS (AP) — There was something frantic in the air on Friday at Christian Dior.
The queue for the ready-to-wear show snaked out way past the storied walls of Paris’ Louvre and dangerously into the road.
Frenzied bloggers, and photographers — as well as curious tourists — pushed and shoved for a glimpse of Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. She arrived tardily in a demure black Dior couture gown with large abstract collar and entered through the giant mirror-clad annex.
But the swarm might also have had something to do with a certain Carla Bruni.
It’s little wonder — in the age of Twitter — that such a sense of desperation clings to the Dior shows: Four times a year, for a mere 15 minutes, it’s when celebrity, fashion and the world’s media collide.
Here are highlights and the show reports from Friday’s spring-summer 2015 collections.
CARLA BRUNI’S SIMPLE LIFE
Her husband has just positioned himself again to be in the running for French president, but Bruni insists she’d rather just be a simple, erm, ex-supermodel, award-winning singer, face of Bulgari and multimillionaire heiress.
It’s hard for some.
Bruni, despite creeping in quickly to Dior, triggered a media scrum and a thousand iPhone flashes as she mingled near the actress Dakota Fanning.
The radiant 46-year-old, one of the highest paid models of the 90s, insisted she was just too old for the catwalk.
“I’m no longer of the age to do that,” she purred, looking ravishing in a sparkling diamond encrusted snake necklace.
RAF SIMONS MAKES A DIOR “COUTURE LITE”
The start of the collection brought a much welcome calm.
Designer Raf Simons continued the historical musing seen in the couture collection — mixing influences from 18th-century French royal court attire with a contemporary menswear twist.
Take, for instance, a couple of great 3-D Marie Antoinette “panier” dresses. They were subverted with pilot and astronaut uniform straps in the top. The result was a great sort of Versailles punk.
But, on the whole, this collection felt more “daywear” than the grand structured robes of July’s well-received couture show. The styles might be described as “couture lite” and sacrificed some of the previous show’s energy.
Still, the mixing of the contemporary and the historic worked to a tee, in the space-age interiors of the venue, inside the oldest courtyard of the Louvre Palace.
ISSEY MIYAKE’S FOUND HIS MOJO
Issey Miyake went back to the delicate elegance for which the house founder was famed.
Armed with a new, incredible fabric-making technique, “3D Stream Stretch,” the ever-creative current designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae, showcased a beautiful collection of silhouettes that looked almost brushed by the wind.
In a pared down palette, mainly consisting of white, cloth that was creased and then steamed, formed diaphanous textured shapes that enveloped the models like clouds.
Round cone hats with many layers, shawls, and round baggy pants gave this collection a circular energy.
And the “Stream Stretch” in soft donkey brown created the piece de resistance: a soft cocoon with an organic unfurling lapel.
ISABEL MARANT COULD NOT QUITE BE WORN ON THE TENNIS COURT
It was the tennis court meets the Greco-Roman gladiator for Isabel Marant.
The French designer showcased inches of sexily exposed leg in her 40-piece collection — with dashes of the 80s — by channeling the length and kick of a tennis skirt style.
But this is not the kind of attire to be worn readily by Maria Sharapova.
The 46-year-old designer then twinned the sporty silhouette with Roman sandals, thick black waist bands, V-necks, strap halter necks, and tunic tops.
A micro dress came across aggressive in sultry black leather — with a high skirt that could have belonged to a gladiator.
While one fury burgundy coat had the feel of a centurion’s cape — if with a very contemporary twist.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA’S EAST MEETS WEST
It was an interesting, if enigmatic, collection for Maison Martin Margiela.
Business-like navy pinstripes came in billowing Asiatic trains with a tie at the waist.
Eastern dot prints on sarongs contrasted nicely with a sleeveless contemporary Western peach top with flower appliques.
Elsewhere, one jacket was split into three sections: part Sherlock Holmes, part Warren Buffet, part Asian concubine.
It was quite a mix.
On the whole, it was international-scale creative chaos and could have benefited with more focus.
But randomness comes as no surprise for a house that’s made kookiness into an international business.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP