Ecology, Ukraine and nuns inspire eclectic Parisian fashion

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A model wears a creation as part of the Chloe Ready To Wear Fall/Winter 2022-2023 fashion collection presented during Fashion Week in Paris, Thursday, March 3, 2022.  (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

A model wears a creation as part of the Chloe Ready To Wear Fall/Winter 2022-2023 fashion collection presented during Fashion Week in Paris, Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Vianney LeCaer/Invision/AP

Designer Gabriela Hearst showed her green credentials by hosting her Chloe show at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday in a famous Paris greenhouse. But instead of flowers, stars like Demi Moore and Maria Sharapova seemed to be blooming in the bare sand of Parc Andre Citroen.

Here are some highlights from Thursday’s Autumn/Winter 2022 ready-to-wear shows.

CHLOE’S TEXTURED ECOLOGY

The Uruguayan-born Chloe designer has kept ecology front and center during her tenure as Chloe. Thursday’s show was no exception, taking place in the sandswept interiors of a Paris greenhouse and decked out in the colors of the climate crisis. Bright mandarin orange, vermilion and red on black evoked a forest destroyed by fire, while pale tones of white, cream and beige symbolized melting glaciers and drought. The pared-down silhouettes – which played with softly contrasting textures – also drew inspiration from the surroundings, through the cinema. The muse of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1973 film Brother Son, Sister Moon, which chronicles the life of the ecologists’ patron saint, brought forth puffed sleeves, simple lines, seashell motifs and form-fitting knitwear. There were some great moments, like a cutaway black leather dress with ethnic discs on the torso, but the aesthetic seemed to lack energy at times. Was it perhaps because of the energy that was – admirably – expended touting its small ecological footprint? Thanks to Hearst’s eco-conscious mantra, Chloe was once again proud to say that she had met her annual target of 56% greener materials within the ready-to-wear show.

RICK OWENS BLAST SMOKE

From perfumed mist on the Palais de Tokyo catwalk, models with discontinuous shapes, elongated shoulders and long, tubular arms shuffled for Rick Owens’ latest runway show – one that creatively explored softness, drape and packaging.

Crazy, wild, gothic or alien hairstyles set the otherworldly tone of the collection entitled “Strobe”. With its billowing smoke machine, it felt like a rave at times.

Deconstructed garments — oval-shaped jackets with frayed edges, ruffled gloves that looked ready to do the dishes, and a dress made from scraps of fabric reminiscent of a hippie Mary Magdalene — gave this fall-winter collection a funky, unexpected vibe.

Quirks like a python print bubble top tube looked amazing like the model was being eaten by a boa constrictor.

At the end of the program notes, Owens left a touching message for the conflict in Ukraine: He had “always found great comfort in the fact that somehow in world history good has always triumphed over evil”. He added, “In times of heartbreak, beauty can be one of the ways to keep the faith.”

ISABEL MARANT’S MUSIC

Parisian fashion it girl Isabel Marant was in a party mood on Thursday night, hosting a musical extravaganza alongside her runway show. At least it finally explained to the guests why they had received a wooden musical instrument in the mail as an invitation.

In an outbuilding of the historic Palais Royal in Paris, the brand unveiled a sexy formula of glitz and ’80s style, all set to live music in front of a shimmering sculpture of metallic spheres.

Disco dresses with shimmering sequins and swinging fringes mixed with stripper boots so wide they resembled fisherman’s waders.

These statement black, coffee white and silver boots were worn chic over jeans or 80’s style mini dresses.

Fluffy, snuggly sweater dresses gave solace to the provocation, but overall there was a sense of déjà vu with many styles.

MAKE COPERNIS

At Coperni, designers Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer went into a dressing room at a Roman Catholic school for inspiration to create another quirky and humorous show that ticks all the fashion criteria.

Guests sat immersed in a row of school lockers that stretched wall-to-wall as looks fused the preppy style of boarding school – with a take on the habit of a Catholic nun.

Thigh-high black stockings started the show, part schoolgirl, part novice nun – a tongue-in-cheek theme that was continued in interesting pieces on a black triangular robe worn with aplomb by current model Bella Hadid. She wore a minimalist mini in a rebellious provocation against the imaginary religious school’s strict dress codes

But there were some great silhouettes in this creative cauldron – including a black belt that served as the top hem and shot out horizontally to either side.

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