Ri­hanna, Dior’s moun­tain wres­tle for at­ten­tion

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY THOMAS ADAM­SON

The sky was the limit for pow­er­house Chris­tian Dior which built an en­tire flo­ral moun­tain within the Lou­vre to house its 15 minute show at Paris Fash­ion Week. On the front row was Ri­hanna, at­tract­ing al­most as much at­ten­tion as the decor. Here are the high­lights of Fri­day’s shows:

Ri­hanna Causes May­hem

The pop star and Dior brand am­bas­sador swooped into the Lou­vre to a flurry of pa­parazzi flashes, and posed in front of a myr­iad of blue flow­ers. The back­drop com­ple­mented the stylish singer’s clothes — a pink Dior cou­ture cape dress from the fall-win­ter col­lec­tion, with an ex­ag­ger­ated pocket, and raunchy boots.

In­side, she ap­peared re­laxed and took self­ies, even as the media scrum around her wall of body­guards bal­looned to near chaos.

Dior Says it with Flow­ers

(and a Moun­tain)

It took 400,000 stalks of blue Del­phinium flow­ers, 36 tonnes of sawed lawn, and 100 peo­ple work­ing day and night for over three weeks.

An en­tire moun­tain, re­plete with flam­ing blue blooms which glis­tened in the sun, was the near-im­pos­si­ble feat of cre­ation that pow­er­house Chris­tian Dior achieved for their Fri­day show.

The au­dac­ity of the size — 60 me­ters wide and 18 me­ters high — was made even more au­da­cious by its lo­ca­tion: in­side the old­est court­yard of the Lou­vre mu­seum, of which the 16th cen­tury stones poked out be­hind the flow­ers.

Blog­gers gaw­ped, mod­els used it as a pos­ing back­drop, El­iz­a­beth Olsen pouted, and Ri­hanna swooped past it as a flurry of pa­parazzi snaps cap­tured the un­likely sight.

As soon as the show ended, last­ing a mere 15 min­utes, work­ers read­ied them­selves to take it all back down again.

Who ever said fash­ion was fleet­ing?

Dior’s Pure Lines

Raf Si­mons took a fresh and nat­u­ral­is­tic ap­proach for Dior’s spring-sum­mer looks: clothes that were as light as the scents waft­ing from the flower-filled decor.

As ever, for “cere­bral” Si­mons, the ref­er­ences were en­cy­clo­pe­dic.

This sea­son’s muse was Vic­to­rian-style un­der­wear: high-waisted knick­ers, in white cot­ton with a cir­cu­lar trim.

They were worn un­der loose, sheer or­ganza dresses or un­der­neath Dior’s famed “bar jacket” that was taken from the 1949 archive and given a graphic, menswear twist. Si­mons is, af­ter all, a master of gen­der-bending. The del­i­cate men’s tai­lor­ing con­tin­ued in some three-piece suits with del­i­cate hor­i­zon­tal pin­stripes and mil­i­tary jack­ets.

There were some won­der­ful con­tra­dic­tions and con­trasts that dis­played the de­cep­tive sim­plic­ity of the Dior de­signs.

His­tor­i­cal turn- of- the- cen­tury sleeves — gath­ered, vo­lu­mi­nous and nor­mally des­tined for heavy fab­rics — were given a di­aphanous make-over in weight­less, trans­par­ent pink striped silk or­ganza, above Vic­to­rian lin­gerie.

It proves the tal­ent of Si­mons: rich in his ref­er­enc­ing, but light in ex­e­cu­tion.

Issey Miyake’s Baked Trop­ics

It was a raw, trop­i­cal sum­mer at Issey Miyake.

The house of the fiber tech­nol­ogy treated guests another jour­ney around fash­ion science by us­ing ul­tra-thin pa­per thread made from plant-fibers to pro­duce trop­i­cal­look­ing T-shirts. Prim­i­tive fring­ing adorned lay­ered skirts with wo­ven fi­brous tex­tures in checks of pinks, blues and black. They evoked a Hawai­ian hula or grass skirt, a vibe that was re­peated in floppy, fringed or cone hats worn by some of the mod­els.

The pleat­ing was the strong­est part of de­signer Yoshiyuke Miya­mae’s show, and the tech­niques be­hind it equally fas­ci­nat­ing. Swirling pleats in vivid blue, pur­ple and green cre­ated some­times sump­tu­ous mov­ing, bounc­ing trapeze and oval sil­hou­ettes.

It was achieved from a new process called “Baked Stretch” — which in­volved glue be­ing printed on the fab­ric and then baked to ex­pand un­der the high tem­per­a­ture and mold it­self.

“Just like bak­ing bread,” said the pro­gram notes.

Is­abel Marrant’s Arabesque

Eth­nic styles from North Africa and Ana­to­lia were in vogue for Is­abel Marrant, who fused them with con­tem­po­rary fab­rics and sports­wear with funky re­sults.

A long, men’s em­broi­dered Ber­ber coat cut an an­drog­y­nous sil­hou­ette with black tas­seled pants and desert san­dals.

The same coat sil­hou­ette was later ren­dered in sil­ver sheen and twinned with ul­tra-fem­i­nine black `60s pants and a del­i­cate white polo wor­thy of Brigitte Bar­dot.

Harem pants ap­peared first as se­ri­ous, and then with a neat con­tem­po­rary twist — in white, as trun­cated sports pants. And a con­tem­po­rary dropped-waist jump­suit in pale yel­low had tas­sels fly­ing, a gold neck band and a loose pen­dant. It was a fresh take on the ever-lin­ger­ing eth­nic run­way trends.

Dwarf Fash­ion

France’s cul­ture min­istry hosted an en­tire dwarf fash­ion show on Fri­day evening off the nor­mal Paris Fash­ion Week cal­en­dar.

The gov­ern­ment is sup­port­ing an ini­tia­tive to pro­mote al­ter­na­tive stan­dards of beauty in an in­dus­try that pro­motes be­ing tall and thin.

Fif­teen women dwarves all mea­sur­ing un­der 1.32 me­ters trod the boards proudly in the latest col­or­ful spring-sum­mer fash­ions, de­signed by a team of de­sign­ers for the show.

Or­ga­niz­ers ac­cuse the French fash­ion in­dus­try of “dis­crim­i­na­tory dik­tats” that ex­clude short peo­ple from be­ing con­sid­ered beau­ti­ful.

AP

(Above) A model hits the cat­walk at the French Min­istry of Cul­ture dur­ing the dwarf fash­ion show in Paris, France, Fri­day, Oct. 2. The show is an event or­ga­niz­ers say is aimed at high­light­ing the elitism and prej­u­dice that the model in­dus­try en­cour­ages in its de­pic­tion of bod­ies. It is pre­sented dur­ing the Paris Fash­ion Week but is not part of it. (Right) Mod­els wear a cre­ation for Chris­tian Dior’s spring-sum­mer 2016 ready-towear fash­ion col­lec­tion, pre­sented dur­ing the Paris Fash­ion Week in Paris, Fri­day.

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