Stella McCartney Stars at Chloe, making Pop Paul proud
Oct. 15, 1997
PARIS (AP) - Stella McCartney, Chloe's new designer, made her triumphal entry into Paris fashion on Wednesday, prompting her famous Beatle dad to proclaim her spring-summer collection a rousing success.
Now a star in her own right, the radiant designer was hugged by pop Paul McCartney and mom Linda before and after the show at the elegant Garnier opera house. Ringo Starr, another ex-Beatle, was in the audience as well.
Top models from Helena Christensen to Naomi Campbell paraded the oh-so-feminine clothes _ gauzy, lacy, lightly ruffled and flirtatious. Even the no-nonsense trouser suits in cream or sky blue linen and gabardine were feminine.
The 25-year-old designer, who trained at London's St. Martin's school of design after a stint with Christian Lacroix, also worked with Savile Row tailors. She brought one in to assist her in the more architectural details of the perfect pants suit.
With the delicate frills, the light touches from all eras, the tad of glamour, the show was brimming with joie de vivre.
Ms. McCartney became Chloe's top designers this spring, replacing the well known Karl Lagerfeld who still designs for Chanel and has his own line.
``The part that terrified me most was just walking down that runway,'' Ms. McCartney said backstage, wearing one of her own impeccable pant suits.
``We're so happy. It was a great success,'' said Paul McCartney. ``And I can't wait to get one of those striped silk camisoles,'' said his wife.
``Can you believe this is for our daughter?'' Linda said in awe of the posh setting. ``We used to come here. We're very, very proud. She's very talented and has a very good heart.''
There was a big lingerie influence in clothes like the light cottons with tiny ruffles or pleats, hem stitching, pastel taffeta corselets, satin slip dresses.
Much of the collection looked very innocent, in keeping with the perfume named ``Innocence'' launched by Chloe. But innocence sometimes mixed with insolence, as seen in a stretch see-through clinging jumpsuit, or a teeny striped mini, wrapped like a hankie around the body.
There were all lengths from micro-short to long, with some fabulous passementerie-striped ruffled silk camisoles paired with full skirts or sky blue pants. The occasional sex kitten cropped up too, wearing garish Belle Epoque styles with flashes of shocking pink satin, or sparkly see-through clinging dresses.
Offering such a wide range between foxy, disco daring and street chic, Ms. McCartney certainly hits the spot for today's women who like to change clothes to fit their moods.
Another Briton, Alexander McQueen, took a bow for his rip-roaring Far West show for Givenchy. Sassy and full of busty nudity, the show was more showbiz than clothes biz Wednesday in an overheated stadium on the edge of Paris.
The outfits sizzled with fringe after fringe, in orange, black, gray, smoky rosewood pink, in leather or glen plaids. Some of the buxom barroom maids _ in high hats and boots or high-heeled mules _ had dresses cut right under the bosom, with only beads or a filmy gauze upfront.
Leafy decors or campy parrot-jungle themes on minis or slinky satins reminded one of a Las Vegas revue.
But saving the day were handsome sharp-cut trouser suits with pointed shoulders, especially nice in the leather or snake skin-trimmed white versions. Others were fancied up with sequins and arabesque embroidery, a change from McQueen's former Savile row suits.
Givenchy is happy with McQueen, who is light years away from the house's prim and pretty Audrey Hepburn image.
``We're working on renewing his contract for three more years,'' said president Georges Spitzer, who claims boutique sales and couture sales are flourishing.
But who's going to buy this stuff?
``Some of the suits and asymmetrical simple dresses are very good,'' said Joan Kaner, fashion head of Neiman Marcus.
Meanwhile, at Nina Ricci, Myriam Schaefer was inspired by everything from the Belle Epoque and its languorous ladies to the Thirties for brimmed cloche hats.
Some good redingotes were paired with dotted dresses out of the Forties, and an off-shoulder sailor outfit with widely-cuffed large pants was fun. Still, the collection, with its many old-fashioned prints, appeared limp at times.