Paris, January 26, 2023 — The experimentalism and audacity of 1980s club kids inspired Valentino, one of the last high-octane shows of this Paris Fashion Week couture season.
Thousands of fans lined the Pont Alexandre III bridge on a chilly Wednesday night to scream as their idols went in and out — from K-pop star Suga of BTS fame to Anne Hathaway and Kylie Minogue — some of whom danced into the wee hours of Thursday.
But screams also echoed inside the aptly named Bridge Club venue as supermodel Kristen McMenamy took a tumble as she walked the runway. Director Baz Luhrmann also spoke to The Associated Press about his Academy Award nomination for “Elvis.”
All eyes now look toward Fendi on Thursday, to cap the season:
VALENTINO LE CLUB COUTURE
The iconic sound of 80s’ hit “Fade to Grey” by Visage echoed through the stone arches of the underground club venue, as fashion insiders — including Anna Wintour and couture favorite Luhrmann — tapped their feet and watched on.
It was a co-ed show for club kids.
In an irreverent take on classical couture, designer Pierpaolo Piccioli played with Valentino codes to make micro tops out of tulle bows, jumpsuits out of thousands of feathers and evening jackets out of metal beading.
He had a lot of fun along the way, lining the myriad designs with polka dots in the spirit of ’80s euphoria.
Sheer lace trenches and ruffled poet’s blouses — almost straight from the wardrobe of late Visage singer Steve Strange — had guests reaching for their cameras.
Minogue, who looked thrilled, said the show was about how “to break free of the rules and inhabit your true self … You’re in Paris tonight. You’re in the middle of it all.”
Valentino continued its club couture at the iconic Maxime’s with a couture DJ set, as guests were whisked away by limousines to escape the screaming crowds.
When Wintour introduced Luhrmann to Hathaway and other VIP guests, there was a flurry of ‘congratulations’ about his Elvis biopic that has just garnered eight Oscar nominations, including for best picture.
Luhrmann spoke to the AP of his “pride” — and his humility.
“There’s no ‘me’ in it — only ‘we.’ Then there’s this thing called the miracle of Austin Butler,” he said, referring to the 31-year-old playing Elvis Presley who has received a best actor nomination. “That doesn’t happen every day,” he added.
Luhrmann also had words for Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ daughter, who died earlier this month.
“I really feel for the family. We miss her dearly.”
McMenamy caused gasps and screams across the Valentino venue when she tumbled twice in a row, falling to her knees, as she trod the boards.
Dressed in all white, with a cape draped off a baseball cap, the veteran 58-year-old model was helped to her feet on the runway by onlookers — to applause. McMenamy cast her high heels to the side and continued on, though some pointed out that her ankle looked injured.
Praising her resilience, YouTube Head of Fashion & Beauty Derek Blasberg said in a video: “They don’t call her a supermodel for nothing! … Bravo.”
AELIS’ GETS ITS FRINGE ON
Classical couture was on display at Aelis on Thursday, as Italian designer Sofia Crociani channeled her Mediterranean heritage. Crociani launched the house six years ago to widespread praise as an ecological, ethical, and sustainable label.
For spring, loose gowns featuring bands of embroidered sequins defined hemlines with a Grecian style, appearing over dramatic twisted white sustainable fabric that evoked Ancient Athens.
Embellished ribbons, meanwhile, cascaded like curtain tassels from the shoulder to create a stylish swag when the model walked.
Fringing and sparkle were used throughout for a show that oozed an archetypal glamor.
Lengths of heavy satin and silk were used generously on full skirts in pastel shades that were sometimes gathered, draped or ruffled.
Then Crociani went to the disco — with sparkling threads creating tiers of fringing on one shoulderless micro gown. – AP