PARIS — Christian Dior sang the blues to its star-studded front row at Paris Fashion Week on Friday in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s sophomore ready-to-wear show that celebrated all things navy.
Attendees Kate Moss, Rosamund Pike, Uma Thurman, Sienna Miller and a tardy Rihanna, ensured that Dior’s was the most attention-grabbing on the fourth day of fall-winter 2017 collections.
But Issey Miyake’s show, which saw the designer stake out the Arctic’s Aurora Borealis for inspiration, was surely the most daring.
Some highlights from the ongoing shows:
DIOR SINGS THE BLUES
“Among all the colours, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities,” Christian Dior wrote in The Little Dictionary of Fashion.
Chiuri delved into the 1949 Dior archives with this in mind to produce a wearable display that reinterpreted the famed ‘Chevrier’ look in jackets, skirts, bombers and capes — all in various tones of blue.
There was much nostalgia to the retro gowns, which often were ankle-length, gathered at the waist and topped with the classic post-war beret rendered in leather.
Ample hoods that defined the esthetic were inspired by the “tunics of pastors.”
But the bygone days were shot with the contemporary.
The hoods came across streetwise and sporty.
Luxury velvet and taffeta, popular in Monsieur Dior’s era, meanwhile were fashioned in funky sheens and modern cosmic embroideries.
And humble denim, which interspersed the haute-fashion nostalgia, reinforced the contradiction of high-versus-low.
(Blue, the program notes highlighted, was the colour of royalty and the working man.)
There were some standout looks.
A severe, geometric shawl in navy-black — the piece de resistance — looked like a contemporary reworking of a 1940’s glamour puss stole.
But the over use of hoods was a visual drag on many of collection’s more delicate shapes.
SIENNA MILLER GOES BACK TO BOHO
Miller, who’s moved away from her haute-boho style in recent years, seems to have reverted back to her once-signature look thanks to Chiuri.
The fashion-conscious actress hit Dior’s Rodin Museum show in a floral high-necked gown from the house’s spring-summer collection, and twinned it with an oversize black boho coat with intricate embroidered flowers.
“It’s beautiful. This is her last collection obviously, there’s only one and I love it,” Miller said of the garment.
The actress didn’t show an ounce of fatigue despite having jetting over from Prague hours earlier, where she wrapped her latest film “The Catcher Was a Spy” with Paul Rudd. It’s a true story about a major league baseball player, Moe Berg, who also worked for the Office of Strategic Services.
Miller said she was fulfilled with her “balance of life and work” and is proud her upcoming thriller “The Burning Woman,” in which she plays “a really strong incredible female part.”
The film, also starring Christina Hendricks, is about a woman whose life is changed when her daughter vanishes under mysterious circumstances and she is left to bring up her young grandchild.
ROSAMUND PIKE IS BUSY MAKING MOVIES
She won an Oscar nomination in 2015 for her dark role in the thriller “Gone Girl.”
And after a calmer period, this year looks like Pike is back and busier than ever with several films in the pipeline.
“I’ve just finished a film called ‘Entebbe’ about the ‘Entebbe’ (airplane) high jacking of 1976. And before that I did a western called ‘Hostiles’ with Christian Bale. So I’ve just finished a sort of bank of work,” said the actress, as she entered Dior’s show wearing demure sunglasses.
Both movies are heavy and gritty, genres Pike seems to relish.
“It’s about letting out the crazy. Someone’s got to let you do it sooner or later. I channel the dark side easily,” she said.
Speaking about fashion, Pike was somewhat lighter.
“This is the first time I’ve been to a Maria Grazia show, so I’m very excited. Dior’s just elegant, fun, and wearable and it’s the definition of femininity for me.”
ISSEY MIYAKE’S COLOR
The grand salon of Paris’ gilded Hotel de Ville was floodlit in changing hues — from the deepest blue to the brightest yellow.
This season, the designs of Issey Miyake were inspired by the vivid lights of the Aurora Borealis.
The spectacle had guests snapping furiously with their cameras to capture the reflections from the venue’s gold leaf reliefs.
The Aurora, also known as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon of light seen in the Arctic region and other high latitude when magnetic particles create undulating ribbons of light because of solar wind.
The show’s first looks, loose and layered, were made with a wool that combined five different colours in a single thread. Like the Aurora, the clothes changed colour depending on the angle from which they were viewed — turquoise, teal and pale green.
Elsewhere, the undulating shapes of light were evoked in the silhouette of textured wraparound jackets.
They swirled with curved hems, and some sections bounced three-dimensionally owing to a steam-stretch fabric-making technique that refracted the light.
QUEST FOR AURORA BOREALIS
Paris fashion owes its vibrancy to the range of inspirations sought out by designers from far-flung corners of the globe.
The most daring runway adventurer this season is perhaps Issey Miyake’s designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae.
Miyamae went to the northern-most reaches of Norway to stake out the Aurora Borealis to inspire his fall-winter show.
“I went to Norway for a few days and was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights after much waiting,” Miyamae told The Associated Press.
Like an exotic animal, you’re not guaranteed to catch it — and it’s all down to patience and luck.
“No one was around me in the darkness and suddenly the sky revealed colour which seemed to move and wrap around itself. I was completely moved by the experience. It was as if I felt the warmth and the textural softness of the light,” he said.