McCartney hits high, pays tribute to George Michael in Paris

By THOMAS ADAMSON - Associated Press ,

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US singer Pharrell Williams poses with French culture minister Audrey Azoulay, right, after being awarded with the medal of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters during a ceremony at the culture ministry in Paris.

US singer Pharrell Williams poses with French culture minister Audrey Azoulay, right, after being awarded with the medal of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters during a ceremony at the culture ministry in Paris. (Photo: AP)

PARIS (AP) — The rocking soundtrack blasting out the lyrics "Stella's On" had guests including Pamela Anderson and Salma Hayek tapping their feet at the gilded Opera Garnier venue in Paris.

It was a knockout, energy-filled show for Stella McCartney — who headlined Monday's installment of Paris Fashion Week and ended with a bittersweet tribute to the late George Michael.

Here are some highlights.

 

STELLA'S ON FORM

Could it be the strongest show so far this season?

McCartney styled sublime, unexpected twists on her classic fashion repertoire of utilitarian-meets-sexy.

The British equestrian look and checks infused tailored dresses with exaggerated proportions in the sleeves, while, inventive "secondary lapels" — a lapel repeated several times in parallel — had a surreal quality, and evoked how a jacket might be seen in blurred vision.

The collection perfectly fused high and low.

The high — an oil painting masterpiece, "Horse Frightened by a Lion," that made an appearance in knit and silk crepe de chine, framed like a real canvas with square check sleeves. The low — a sexy provocative, stitched pointed-breast.

Sensual, yet cerebral — sheer lace nighties on the high-necked looks twinned with thick wintery, high-waisted baggy pants.

It was an ironic touch that nicely defined the stellar show's spirit.

 

GEORGE MICHAEL TRIBUTE

The soul of George Michael, who died last year aged 53, lives on at Paris Fashion Week.

In a touching tribute, the British singer's hit song 'Faith' was pumped up for the finale of Stella McCartney's collection — that saw models dancing together on the runway to rousing applause.

The models congregated in a circle, with arms raised in the air, repeatedly chanting "Faith. Love."

It had model Natalia Vodianova dancing in her front-row seat.

Michael was particularly highly regarded in fashion for promoting the industry in music videos such as "Freedom" that famously featured models Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.

It was a rousing ode — energetic, vibrant and free.

 

DETOX AND RETOX

The daughter of late animal rights activist Linda McCartney, Stella famously is a vegetarian, never uses fur in her shows, and promotes healthy eating.

This mantra is now trickling down to the pre-show provisions.

Inside Paris' gilded Opera Garnier venue, bleary-eyed guests were deprived of the coffee normally served ahead of the early morning display. Instead of espresso, it was roasted herbal tea.

Monday also saw detox drinks on the menu — one humorously promising a "botox" effect.

But whatever effect the detox drink has on the fashion crowd, will surely be undone come Stella McCartney's alcohol-fueled after-party at David Lynch's Silencio club.

US singer Pharrell Williams discusses with unidentified guests after being awarded with the medal of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by culture minister Audrey Azoulay.
US singer Pharrell Williams discusses with unidentified guests after being awarded with the medal of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by culture minister Audrey Azoulay.
A model wears a creation for Giambattista Valli's Fall-Winter 2017/2018 ready-to-wear fashion collection presented in Paris.
A model wears a creation for Giambattista Valli's Fall-Winter 2017/2018 ready-to-wear fashion collection presented in Paris.

 

MET GALA PREVIEWED

The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute has previewed parts of its highly anticipated exhibit honoring Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo during Paris Fashion Week.

Kawakubo, 74, attended the Monday sneak-peek alongside Vogue Editor Anna Wintour.

Wintour will co-chair the May 1 Met Gala that inaugurates the exhibit with Katy Perry, Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and Pharrell Williams.

The preview showcased five dramatic, flame-red Comme des Garcons creations framed in a neon-lit structure — designed by the Tokyo-based designer who founded the lauded house in 1973.

It has been showing collections in Paris since the early '80s.

It's the first time the famed gala, and accompanying exhibit, will focus on one living designer since 1983, when it was Yves Saint Laurent.

"Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between" runs May 4-Sept. 4.

 

THE RED AND THE BLACK AT GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

It was red, white and black.

The narrow color palette of Italian designer Giambattista Valli provided a pared-down backdrop for a show that explored historic ruffles and frills.

High necks with lace-up mid-calf boots — that might have been used for the can-can — evoked the French Belle Epoque's styles at the turn of the 20th century.

The can-can was also evoked in a floral white dress with myriad layers of black tulle underskirt that kicked out stylishly as the model walked.

Despite the references, the minimalist feeling in a simple red coat, with single, assymetrical pocket, ensured this collection's contemporary credentials.

 

L'OREAL PARIS FASHION AWARD

It was a mini-coup for Giambattista Valli to dress Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore at Sunday night's L'Oreal Paris' fashion grant awards ceremony in Paris.

Moore wore an embellished pastel couture gown with a high neck as host of the event that awards a starting designer 10,000 euros ($10,600) to help launch their brand.

Young female designer Coralie Marabelle was this year's winner.

The awards drew a host of VIPs including Oscar-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert, model Doutzen Kroes and Gabriel Kane Day Lewis, son of Daniel Day Lewis.

 

PHARRELL WILLIAMS GIVEN FRENCH CULTURE AWARD

Singer — and Chanel brand ambassador — Pharrell Williams was decorated by France's culture minister Monday for his services to the arts.

The 43-year-old, who's a regular in Paris during fashion week, attended the ceremony near the Louvre and said he was "grateful," but sad his wife and children weren't in Paris to share the experience.

"France is the center of art," declared the multi-Grammy Award-winning "Happy" singer — after receiving the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

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