PARIS — The ordeal of Kim Kardashian West — who was left tied up after a $10 million jewel heist in her private Paris residence — dominated talk among editors at Fashion Week. It cast a gray cloud over collections that otherwise were meant to exude joy and creativity.
Here are Monday’s highlights.
KIM KARDASHIAN’S ROBBERY
Some editors raised questions about the security in a city that remains under a state of emergency following a spate of extremist attacks, and others said the heist would discourage celebrities from coming back to Paris in the future.
Then there were those who said that life in the Paris Fashion Week “bubble” would continue as normal.
But for all, the Kardashian ordeal provoked shock and surprise — and all agreed with lessons to be learnt to prevent another such crime.
“Total shock. We’ve been talking about it in every front row I’ve sat in,” said Christina Binkley, the Wall Street Journal fashion columnist.
“Celebrities here are dripping in jewels. They are a great target. I bet you there’s going to be higher security. You’re not going to be seeing them walking in on their own. Who would walk around Paris on your own knowing there’s people casing you for your $5 million ring? Of course, in the future, they’ll think twice about coming,” she added.
Cathy Horyn, former New York Times Fashion Editor, expressed incredulity that Kardashian’s security detail didn’t avert it.
“She already had (celebrity accoster Vitalii Sediuk) bothering her this week. I’m sure she is now questioning how she could have been more careful, how she behaves, because Kim tends to travel with more fanfare and more publicity around her, purposefully. That’s been part of her schtick,” she said.
Others played it down.
“I don’t think it was discouraging other celebrities from coming to Paris because Kardashian is a uniquely high profile person whose career is all about showing her personal life to the public. Everyone knows where she stays, so it’s easy for her to make herself the target for this kind of robbery,” said Yoanna Liu, Fashion Editor of Harper’s Bazaar China.
“Unlike Kim Kardashian, I don’t have millions of dollars of jewelry in my bag,” said Luke Lietch of Vogue Runway.
“But, yes it’s definitely something that’s affected the texture of fashion week. There’s no doubt that people have said today that it presents a bad image of Paris,” he said.
STELLA MCCARTNEY’S BRIGHT IDEAS
Stella McCartney’s Monday morning show had already exhausted fashionistas reaching for their coffee cups, but the real wake up came in the show.
It was a superb collection of 39 original looks brimming with bright, new ideas.
One of the first styles introduced a new silhouette: an exaggeratedly round shoulder with curved voluminous arms, separated stiffly from the torso in thick white fabric with a corset-like waist.
It was achieved by very intricate structuring, and repeated in beige, sand and khaki in various forms.
Another key idea was the huge, dramatic drawstring on the waist of skirts — adding a touch of McCartney’s signature utilitarian or sporty styles.
The chic looseness of the looks was also beautiful. A trapeze-shaped look in off white that was back-heavy flourished down the body into voluminous gathered layers that gave it a three-dimensional quality.
The only drawback in the display in what was one of the best shows of the season was the series of colored printed looks, and only because they detracted from the beauty of the silhouettes.
The finale? Pure joy, as the models did a freestyle dance down the runway that had even the poker-faced U.S. Vogue Editor Anna Wintour smiling.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI’S COLLECTION DRAWS EYES TO THE BUST
The muted color palette of mainly black-and-white set the tone for lauded Italian designer Giambattista Valli’s low-key but effective collection Monday.
Fastidious embroideries and decorations — that clad delicately feminine A-line skirts and dresses — drew power from their monochrome subtly and did not arrest the eye.
Design choices such as these always make Valli a standout on the Paris Fashion Week calendar.
But the focus of the silhouette in this rather racy collection was all on the bust.
In most of the 45 looks, eyeballs were drawn firmly to the chest — in sexy exposed bras, bodice tops that hung with tiny straps, bands across the torso, sheer shirts that exposed lingerie underneath, and diaphanous shoulder-less dresses that were cut just above the breast.
It was the sexiest collection the designer has produced in seasons.
HERMES SAYS LESS IS MORE
Devastating beauty through tasteful minimalism.
That was the mantra for Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski’s spring collection for Hermes, which could possibly be her strongest so far.
A soft gray dress with pleated grooves was paired with a simple tan belt — followed by a metallic gray minidress with square sections paired with an equally simple crisp square ochre handbag.
It was a masterful use of complementary color contrast that gave the understated power to such simple and neat styles.
Voluminous proportions in high-waisted pants and in billowing statement coats, meanwhile, gave the looks a chicness, by elongating the body.
Other single garment looks, like a rich black floor-length gown, exuded kinesis and luxury from myriad fabric embroideries that seemed to melt into the dress.
ALBER ELBAZ AWARDED LEGION OF HONOR
Former Lanvin designer and icon of fashion Alber Elbaz was awarded the French Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian distinction for his services to fashion. He was flanked by his celebrity friends, actresses Demi Moore and Kristin Scott Thomas, as he accepted the award.
France’s Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay presented the award to the famously effusive 55-year-old Moroccan-Israeli in a ceremony on Monday, in which Elbaz paid homage to the storied house he had successfully steered for fifteen years. He left Lanvin in October 2015.
“I want to thank all my collaborators from Lanvin who helped me to realize my dreams every day, day after day,” he said.
“You are the best orchestra I have ever had and one day we will maybe be back together but maybe in another place… I miss you all,” he added.
GOLD OBSESSION PARTY
It was the lipstick that launched a thousand celebrity appearances.
L’Oreal hosted one of the biggest VIP soirees of the fashion season on Sunday night, the Gold Obsession Party attended by a swathe of fashion’s great and good.
Naomi Campbell, Kris Jenner, Cheryl, Karlie Kloss, Doutzen Kroes and Lara Stone all posed for the camera in black and gold outfits, before partying the night away
The event celebrated the cosmetic powerhouse’s five “Color Riche” lipstick shades, as the company describes, “wrapped in 24-Carat Gold pigments for a statement metallic lipstick look.”
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP