PARIS – Still basking in the media spotlight since her acclaimed performance in “The Danish Girl,” all eyes were on Oscar winner Alicia Vikander at Louis Vuitton’s star-filled show Wednesday.
Here are the highlights of the fall-winter 2016 collections, including reports from Vuitton, Miu Miu, Moncler Gamme Rouge and Kenzo.
Vuitton front row
Vikander wowed the fashion media at Vuitton on Wednesday morning in a pared down, geometric Nicolas Ghesquiere look that proved that less is more.
With no makeup and a chic messy centre parting, the 27-year-old Swedish actress rocked a navy statement coat with cream bands and cropped pants.
The look’s geometry perfectly mirrored the Louis Vuitton Foundation backdrop as she posed for photos – with its figurative angular glass, wood and metal architecture, designed by architect Frank Gehry.
Joining her in the front row was fellow Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly and Selena Gomez.
Louis Vuitton on form
Ghesquiere produced one of his most accomplished Vuitton collections to date Wednesday with 52 creative looks brimming with colour and energy.
Alongside the giant reflective disco-ball column decor, a model with huge Eighties hair opened the show with a fresh silhouette that recurred throughout: a strong-shouldered coat truncated under the bust in bolero style.
It cut a great shape, and led on to some very creative explorations of form like corset styles with large exaggerated curves.
Ghesquiere is a sports fan. Here, the signature sportswear styles were subtly evoked on looks that seemed inspired by Nineties’ motorbike jackets.
Flashes of red, white and blue stripes graced sheeny tight-fitting leather jackets.
And in one of the more interesting looks – g the normally-harsh biking stripes appeared as a contradiction on a fluffy woolen sweater that called out to be hugged.
This varied collection will broaden the house’s appeal from the overly young looks that characterized the French designer’s debut.
Moncler Gamme rouge’s hills are alive
Giambattista Valli headed to the Austrian hills of “The Sound of Music” for his snowy, Edelweiss-infused collection Wednesday that was executed with finesse.
Since he took over this arm of Moncler, the floral-loving Italian designer has set most of his shows upon a hill or meadow to combine the house’s outdoorsy vibe with his love of flowers.
Wednesday’s show was no exception – and the snow-capped peaks of the Tyrol were the season’s backdrop to looks that riffed on traditional Tyrolian dress.
The “dirndl,” a traditional Alpine peasant dress worn in Germany, Austria and the South Tyrol, was reimagined in white fur, sheer tulle and embroideries as the suspenders.
Pale blue tights, meanwhile, led down to black leather platform clogs.
Valli is a master of detail.
Snow appeared as an optical blurry print in one short coatdress – and, elsewhere, morphed into the endangered Edelweiss flower as immortalized by the Oscar-winning film.
Miu Miu transforms the ordinary
Black hoody-wearing hip hop star A$AP Rocky joined actress Chloe Sevigny on the Miu Miu front row Wednesday.
This season, Miuccia Prada’s ever-thought-provoking show took ordinary items – like denim jeans, jodhpurs or boho print – and transformed them into historical styles.
Long denim skirts, gathered at the side, had the rippled classical movement of a gown in a Roman statue.
Buttoned jodhpurs had the thick texture of the 19th century, and dense Seventies prints on baggy pants and column silhouettes evoked historic tapestries and decorations.
In one of the most tongue-in-cheek details, Prada saw that a long tweed jacket sported a 1900s Empire Line – thanks to a contemporary red and white faux-fur belt.
Only a design master like the 66-year-old Italian could pull something like this off, and with panache.
Kenzo’s contradictory styles
It was one of the wackiest Kenzo collections Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have produced since joining the house in 2011.
The idea was simple enough: to push the creative envelope as much as possible in every of the 54 zany looks, then mix in a dose of gold tiger print.
The result? Exaggerated proportions – billowing oversize shirts and dresses – contrasting with divergent styles, sheeny fabrics and prints, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.
A ruffled oversize 19th-century schoolmistress shirt in check with grey skirt was – daringly – twinned with pink and black tiger print stripper boots and space-age eye makeup.
There was also a surreal note in the clothes’ proportions.
One gold tiger print coat was so huge that the poor model beneath looked like she had fallen from another planet.
It might not be everyone’s cup of fashion tea, but it was a striking look and at the very least belies the creative confidence Leon and Lim now have after five extremely successful years at the French house.