By THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Journalist
PARIS (AP) — Dior’s world-famous flowers, art and ateliers came together Friday for a sweet-scented explosion of creativity. The house’s Paris Fashion Week show was a tribute to the late British painter Duncan Grant and celebrated member of London’s Bloomsbury Group, who died in 1978.
VIP guests gasped as they entered a DIOR-branded marquee to discover the makeshift country view, filled with some 19,000 royal poppies, wildflowers and flora planted on the hills alongside two reconstructed English country houses. All this for the 10-minute fashion show. The set, of course, was intended to evoke Grant’s rolling landscapes.
There were almost as many famous faces on display as there were flowers. David Beckham and his son Cruz, Naomi Campbell, J Balvin, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were among the Dior front row stars, gazing at the petals and tufts of grass.
Here are some highlights from Friday’s spring-summer 2023 shows:
Political cartoons about world leaders
For spring, designer Kim Jones recreated the painter’s universe by not only evoking his masterpieces, but also creating the actual garments he wore while working, like his straw gardening hat reimagined as a pergola fused with a baseball cap, designed by Stephen Jones, the Hatter. Grant’s signature suits were also a key theme, but reimagined in the style of Jones with clever fashion twists.
Countless references based on the 1930s, the artist’s heyday. Two sleeves were worn instead of a retro sash on a loose vanilla double-breasted suit. They hung in the middle abstractly, sticking out from under the jacket. Elsewhere, tailored shorts sported turned-down waistbands in the slightly cruder styles of that interwar era.
The wool socks and gardening shoes were a playful nod to the painter, who spent much of his time outdoors, but also a nod to Jones himself, a designer for whom humor is never far away. The palette for the collection was, appropriately, a garden and pond inspired by greens and blues, as well as pastels.
A fresh and sensitive wardrobe awaited guests at Paul Smith’s spring show in south-east Paris.
Layering and optical play were the themes of the season, in looks that drew on the British master tailor’s bread and butter of colour, florals and suit looks.
A beautiful, flowing, silver coat ensemble created a modern preppy vibe with its suit shorts that drew attention to suede socks and loafers.
Elsewhere, it was the realm of soft optical illusion in patterns that gave various ensembles a kinesis.
A granite-colored tunic-style shirt was constructed from ribbed fabric that undulated in zigzags that changed shape as the model walked.
JUNYA WATANABE MAKES A DENIM STATEMENT
The Japanese fashion designer, a protégé of iconic Comme des Garçons couturier Rei Kawakubo, presented an urbane, yet suave, display for his namesake brand on Friday.
At the heart of Junya Watababe’s designs is a concept called “Monozukiri” which literally means “production” or “manufacturing” in Japanese and for him has become a knowledge of cutting-edge techniques for making clothes.
Here for spring, contrasting prints, patterns and textures created visual tension, while bias-cut distressed jeans, replete with colorful appliqué patches, added a playful edge to the collection.
Coca-Cola logos and images of hamburgers on denim jeans commented on the capitalist nature of the world, and the fashion industry itself, in a nice moment of introspection.
There were plenty of interesting design twists: a Japanese denim jean jacket had a real stiffness to it, which contrasted nicely with the lack of one of its chest pockets.
The guests sat like students in a school assembly hall in rows for Kidsuper.
The irony was not lost on guests who appreciated the tongue-in-cheek vibe that permeated the alternative house’s fun and engaging mixed designs.
An urban style ran through the vibrant looks.
Patterned painted faces peeked out from ponchos, pants and coats in a colorway of clothing that spanned the rainbow in color.
The strongest look in the 24-look collection was a multicolored puffy dress layered in lime, bronze, and orange tulle that looked a bit like Cyndi Lauper reimagined by a kindergarten teacher.
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