The Kardashians’ fashion show routine is to keep everyone waiting at least 50 minutes before “making their entrance”. At Victoria Beckham on Friday, Anna Wintour was visibly unamused, tapping her watch repeatedly in the direction of the PRs before the show finally started once les Kardashians had swept in.
(Most others have given up feeling anything other than a kind of numb despair at these antics). Meanwhile, at Stella McCartney’s show Cate Blanchett, Robert Downey Junior and Chris Rock turned up well within the acceptable fashion boundaries of tardiness.
The weather gods smiled down as the heatwave in Paris continued, which was lucky as the show was outside in a food market in the bourgeois 7th arrondissement, where McCartney had mounted her own Sustainable Market.
Before the show, guests were encouraged to browse the 21 stalls showcasing the pioneering materials in the collection: mushroom ‘leather’, forest friendly viscose ‘satins’, recycled wool and cashmere, and yarns woven from seaweed. I can confirm the bags are extremely soft.
In an industry that makes so much noise about sustainability (while in many cases doing the minimum to achieve it) this is still a hard sell. Credit to McCartney for plugging away with such commitment and, now that she’s part of the LVMH stable, with more scope to make an impact. Some of the accessories were constructed with grape leather using byproducts from Veuve Clicquot, a fellow LVMH brand.
None of this means anything in the wider market place unless she delivers clothes that hold their own in a magazine, as well as more wearable iterations for women to wear.
This was one of her best shows, inspired in parts, by her parents, Linda’s and Paul’s touring costumes in Wings, but also the pieces McCartney (and now her teenage daughters) want in their wardrobes: oversized blazers, slouchy cut out denim jeans, waffle knit tubes, glamorous (biodegradable) sparkles, masculine shirts in organic cotton and floaty strapless dresses embellished with appliquéd florals. The overall message here, as elsewhere, is ease, with a hefty side order of glamour.
Wafty featherweight clothes are where fashion is heading, a point reiterated at Zimmermann’s show. This Australian outsider (in Paris at any rate) is now a billion dollar brand and it’s not hard to see why: no one delivers such intensely pretty, bohemianism at this (fairly haute) level of the market as founder Nicky Zimmermann. Alongside the familiar florals, were fluttery panels of crimson, coral and yellow. The asymmetric slip tunics worn under blazers are another lovely combination for those who want to soften their tailoring.
Unseasonally warm weather in Paris is focusing minds on the need for just these kinds of clothes, especially when Louis Vuitton wrapped its interiors in bright orange plastic, none of which looked like it was made from McCartney’s leftover grape skins. Sauna doesn’t quite describe the heat emanating off audience members wearing tweed.
Oh well. Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquiere opened with a series of airy, double-layered chiffon ankle-length skirts, had a stop-over at voluminous bomber jackets (another big hit on many catwalks) and although there were no show notes to confirm this, seemed to take a detour into London’s early 1980s Blitz Club scene. The tricorne-y millinery, white tights and military-esque jackets split the crowd. There were bemused expressions in some quarters while other sections stood to applaud.