Fall Winter 2013 Haute Couture Scene
A few more thoughts and lots more pictures
Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Uma Thurman, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell, Naomie Harris and Rihanna were just a few of the famous faces turning up at the Fall Winter 2013 Paris Haute Couture shows June 30-July 4 of this year.
Having just returned from Paris, after attending fashion shows by day, party-hopping by night, and then writing stories for the Los Angeles Times into the wee hours, I barely had time to sleep or eat, let alone down all my thoughts or organize my pictures. So I thought I’d pick up the slack here in Society News LA.
See my notes from the Paris scene below, along with photos on this page and in the gallery. For pictures of the fashions, check back tomorrow.
Click on the designer names Versace, Giorgio Armani Prive, Jean Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab to see my L.A. Times stories about the shows. Click on these names to read my L.A. Times stories about the following parties: the Christian Lacroix homage to Elsa Schiaparelli; the launch for new $10,000-$140,000 Savelli cell phones; the Lancome Show for Alber Elbaz cosmetics; the “Little Black Dress” exhibition, curated by Andre Leon Talley at the Mona Bismarck American Center for art and culture; and Zahia Dehar’s new lingerie collection.
Haute Couture Basics
For those who must prep for red carpets and other gala affairs, where the daggers are out for the unfortunately-attired, the haute couture shows are the perfect hunting grounds for gowns so beautiful they defy serious criticism. That’s one reason stylists and celebrities take advantage of invitations for a front row seat at the Paris shows.
Faces in the Crowd
In addition to the celebrities already named, the fall winter shows also attracted Zachary Quinto of “Star Trek,” Rose Byrne of “Bridesmaids,” Bobby Cannavale and Michael Pitt of “Boardwalk Empire,” Mena Suvari of “American Beauty,” George Kotsiopoulos of “Fashion Police,” Catherine Deneuve, Dolores Chaplin, Vanessa Paradis, Nicky Hilton, photographer Ellen von Unwerth, numerous French celebrities, the global fashion press and of course, haute couture clients from throughout the world.
Quinto, Roberts and Suvari all said they came to the Atelier Versace show for no other reason than because Donatella invited them. Stewart popped into both the Chanel and Zuhair Murad shows. Bond Girl Harris stuck with only one show, but she chose wisely, as she got to see Giorgio Armani’s most beautiful couture collection to date.
Familar Faces on Stage
Naomi Campbell opened the Versace show to gasps from the audience, surprised at the sight of the veteran supermodel, as she strutted down the runway for her first time in years.
Another surprise awaited at the Jean Paul Gaultier show, but then the designer always provides a fun ending to his shows. In previous seasons, he’s had a can-can dancer, a male bride and last season, a model hiding children under her hoop skirt.
This time, Nabilla Benattia of “The Angels of Reality TV,” France’s own reality star, stepped onto the runway. In the cat-themed show, this country’s answer to Kim Kardashian showed her claws, mimicking a cat on the catwalk.
Christian Lacroix homage to Elsa Schiaparelli
Seeing the brilliant Christian Lacroix again was a great joy, as he’s been missed since his fashion house shut down. He couldn’t have been friendlier and he sure seemed happy to see people, such as myself, who dressed in his fashions.
On July 1, his homage to Elsa Schiaparelli opened over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Les Arts Decoratifs, a museum that’s part of the Louvres. Considering that both Lacroix and Schiaparelli designed with an over-the-top theatricality, no one else but Lacroix could have accomplished a more beautiful tribute to the Italian designer.
The Little Black Dress
The Opening Night shindig for the “Little Black Dress” at the Mona Bismarck American Center for art and design lured top designers, including Vera Wang, Riccardo Tisci, Peter Dundas, Olivier Theyskens, Haider Ackermann and Christophe Josse. In keeping with the night’s theme, Vera Wang wore a little black dress, in her case, decked out with the season’s biggest belt. (Check out the photo.)
As the exhibit originated at the Savannah College of Art and Design, college president Paula Wallace greeted us, while a very knowledgeable Michael-Birch Pierce took us through the displays.
As regards the show, exhibition curator Andre Leon Talley happily didn’t take the word “little” too literally, as some of the most beautiful frocks were the floor-skimmers. Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Linda Evangelista were all represented by their long gowns, as was fashion designer Marc Jacobs, in the dress Jacobs wore to the NY Met Gala.
Zahia Dehar’s American Connection
For a dramatic change of professions, consider Zahia Dehar. At 17, she was given as a birthday present to a French football star, rocketing her to fame in the resulting underage prostitution scandal. Since then, her notoriety landed her modeling jobs, a front row seat at a Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture show and, helped by Karl Lagerfeld, a design career.
On July 3 and 4, she launched a line of haute couture lingerie, cleverly based on a theme of confections. Shown in a boudoir setting, albeit with pastry counters and a baroque trio, the lingerie will be represented exclusively in the U.S. at Cameron Silver’s “Decades” in Los Angeles.
Americans in Paris
In addition to Zahia Dehar’s new partner, Cameron Silver, Los Angeles was well-represented at the shows with Sutton Stracke, Maria Bell, Colleen Bell, Terri Kohl, Sally and Michel Perrin, Christine Chiu and Dr. Gabriel Chiu, Gelila Assefa Puck and Wolfgang Puck, and others.
Also from the U.S., Patricia Rossignol from St. Petersburg, Becca Cason Thrash of Houston and stylist Cristina Ehrlich of N.Y. and L.A., who’s dressed clients ranging from Penelope Cruz, Julianna Margulies, Ashley Greene, Amy Adams, Tina Fey and Ellen DeGeneres to the Jonas Brothers.
The Lancome Show
Of all the dinners, cocktail receptions and other happenings, the Lancome soiree captured my no. 1 spot for the week’s best party. The evening celebrated the new Alber Elbaz-designed makeup collection.
With an estimated 1,000 people at the Paris nightclub Le Trianon, we figured we’d never find the man of the hour with his red boutonniere. But then an effusive Elbaz just about ran into us, happily confessing his joy at the completion of this project.
We also had a chance to chat with Lanvin owner Mrs. Shaw Lan Wang and brand new new chief executive Michele Huiban.
But soon, showgirls in red-feathered headdresses and fantails started the show. Next came Sharleen Spiteri and the Scottish band Texas to perform their hits, adding “If I can’t have you,” because Spiteri said Elbaz favored the song.
Opening Nights on the Avenue Montaigne
Timing being everything, we nearly missed Sharon Stone at the new Fendi boutique. As we arrived for the opening celebration, she was rushing past the fancy furs and wall of baguettes to depart for Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi-sponsored photo exhibition.
Under the Alexander III bridge, on the banks of the Seine, Lagerfeld’s “The Glory of Water” paid tribute to Rome’s fountains. This wasn’t a near-miss, but an actual miss. That’s because we opted to attend five cocktail receptions that evening.
And except for the Opening Night party at Loewe – beautifully redesigned by Peter Marino and also on the avenue Montaigne – the parties were all in different parts of Paris. So by the time we got to the photo exhibition, everyone was gone.
So many parties, too little time – that’s the story at the Paris haute couture shows.
At a cocktail reception preceding the Giorgio Armani Prive show, Wolfgang Puck and Gelila Assefa Puck introduced us to Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue. Assefa Puck praised Sozzani for her work in Africa and said she’ll be honored at an Oct. 24 benefit in Beverly Hills for the “Dream for Future Africa Foundation.”
Photos, This Page:
Top photo: At the Giorgio Armani Prive show during the Paris fall winter 2013 haute couture shows, from left, Catherine Deneuve, Roberta Armani, Milla Jovovich, Bond Girl Naomie Harris and model Afef Jnifen.
Second photo: Kristen Stewart, left, and French actress Elsa Zylberstein of “I’ve Loved You So Long” at the Zuhair Murad show. (photo, Michel Dufour/ Getty Images, courtesy of Zuhair Murad.)
Third photo: All eyes – or at least most of them – are on the bride, from left, Michael Pitt of “Boardwalk Empire,” Kristen Stewart, director Olivier Assayas, Rose Byrne of “Bridesmaids,” Bobby Cannavale of “Boardwalk Empire”
Fourth photo: Ellen Olivier and Christian Lacroix at the homage to Schiaparelli, on view during the Paris fall winter 2013 haute couture collections.
Fifth photo: Known for her black dresses and her wedding dresses, Vera Wang contributed a black wedding dress to the “Little Black Dress” exhibit, presented during the Paris fall winter 2013 haute couture shows.
Sixth photo: Zahia Dehar at her pop-up lingerie shop to celebrate her new collection and partnership with Cameron Silver of “Decades.”
Seventh photo: From left, Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz, company owner Mrs. Shaw Lan Wang and new chief executive Michele Huiban at a celebration for the Elbaz-designed makeup collection for Lancome, which took place during the Paris fall winter 2013 haute couture shows.
Ninth photo: Franca Sozzani of Italian Vogue, center, flanked by Gelila Assefa Puck, left, and Wolfgang Puck at the Giorgio Armani Prive show.
Tenth photo: From left, Michel Perrin and Sally Perrin, of the leather goods company Perrin Paris, with George Kotsiopoulos of “Fashion Police” at the “Little Black Dress” reception.
Eleventh photo: Sharleen Spiteri and Texas gave a mini-concert at the Lancome party during the Paris fall winter 2013 haute couture shows.
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Fall Winter 2013 Haute Couture
Published July 10, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA