PARIS: Words were almost inaudible amid the screams at the Paris Fashion Week show where Stella McCartney presented a collection that toyed with draping and upcycling.
Such exuberant outbursts would usually come from the designer’s fans. But it was McCartney herself who caused the commotion when Oprah Winfrey appeared backstage at her show on Monday.
Here are some highlights of fall-winter 2019 displays:
Winfrey managed to utter “It was beautiful. It was fun,” amid the noise and cameras.
McCartney, a global fashion icon and the daughter of former-Beatle Paul McCartney was evidently humbled as she was jostled backstage while standing alongside Winfrey, a global entertainment icon.
“I’m dying,” exclaimed McCartney.
Winfrey, who’s rarely seen on the fashion circuit, smiled as McCartney lavished praise.
McCartney said she advised her models, including Natalia Vodianova, “Just bow down,” if you “walk past her.”
Winfrey arrived flanked by a bodyguard, race car driver Lewis Hamilton and Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s first black editor-in-chief.
Strong shoulders with draping spilling down and pops of vivid color made up the style formula for McCartney’s show at Paris’ ornate Opera Garnier.
The British-American designer said she aimed this season to project a “powerful persona.” Her chicly deployed collection succeeded in towing the line between strength and the softness that defines McCartney’s designs.
Structure was everywhere. Tight waists were cinched with on-trend belts or geometric panels.
But draping was used sensitively to break up any harsh lines.
Fall-winter was all about the shoulders, which came peaked in the style of the late-1970s or with an extraneous layer of material for a stylish Japanese feel.
A vivid red gown with a cross-over-style torso and fluttery waist tassels perfected the Asian musing. Contrasting thigh-high black boots gave the same look some spice.
A vacuum-packed oak tree leaf was included inside invitations to eco-warrior McCartney’s show.
It was done to promote a campaign to protect the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia. Called “There She Grows,” the campaign invites the designer’s friends and members of the public to dedicate a tree to raise awareness.
Participants so far include Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink, Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon and Rooney Mara.
The ecological references by the designer, who uses no fur and only “vegetarian leather,” continued in the collection through lashings of greens and browns in the color palette, and the use of upcycled material to make dresses.
“We try to bring the environment into the conversation now, more and more,” McCartney told the AP.
Ecology has been a theme this season: Kenzo sent out an invite last week with tomato seeds embedded in the plantible paper.
A slanted wall with trapezoid-shaped window holes and sanitized lighting evoked the mood of a spaceship for Italian designer Giambattista Valli.
Adding to the futuristic mood were powder-colored heels with shaggy fringing that evoked Chewbacca from “Star Wars.” There were also sheeny black high-waisted pants.
Aside from these references, the fall-winter collection was predictable territory.
Valli’s signature floral prints and unfurling short silk gowns were ubiquitous and mixed in with the season’s top trends.
Jabot collars and tulle neck detailing ticked the 1970s trend box.
A darker and more aggressive mood than usual befell Sacai, one of Japan’s most popular luxury brands, and it was not just in the colors.
Warrior-like waists in black and gray were shown cinched with thick belts or extra layers of fabric.
Patent leather shoes sported pointed spikes and studded straps that resembled armor.
Large round shoulders created the effect of a padded silhouette, evoking the traditional layering of an Asian fighter.
The styles worked well thanks to contrasting, chic touches, such as large cream fur coat cuffs that added luxuriance.