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 utilitarian/sexy repertoire.
Equestrian looks and checked tailored dresses with high necks sported exaggerated proportions in the sleeve.
While, inventive “secondary lapels” — a lapel repeated several times in parallel — had a surreal quality that evoked a jacket 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, was framed like a real canvas with square check sleeves. The low — a provocative, stitched conical bust, had guests smiling.
Sensual, yet cerebral — sheer, lace negligées were twinned with thick, wintery baggy pants in an ironic touch that nicely defined this 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 supporting the industry through 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.
MET GALA PREVIEWED
The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute previewed parts of its highly-anticipated exhibit Monday honoring Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo.
Kawakubo, 74, attended the sneak-peak session 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 creations selected from Comme des Garcons collections across three decades — all framed in a neon-lit structure.
The Tokyo-based designer officially founded the cerebral design house in 1973 to critical acclaim — and was dubbed “anti-fashion” for challenging the notions of beauty. Comme des Garcons has been showing collections in Paris since 1981.
It’s the first time the famed gala, and accompanying exhibit, will focus on one living designer since 1983, when it highlighted the work of Yves Saint Laurent.
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.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN’S FASHION PROGESSIONS
It was the genesis of fashion over the centuries that unfurled before guests at Alexander McQueen.
With primitive-style fringing, beading, thick stitching and long belts, designer Sarah Burton conjured up age-old tribal styles on tight silhouettes. One with black leather shaped over the breast like armor looked like high-fashion’s answer to Xena Warrior Princess.
This stitching then progressed to weaving: in a woven coat and high-necked sleeveless dress in rough multicolored thread.
In turn, the weaving gave way to embroidery motifs and patchwork. Then, tailored looks — seen in a menswear tuxedo — moved on to the decorative.
Monday’s collection showed above all that the abstract and figurative styles of the art-infused house of Alexander McQueen seem to be a thing of the past. Burton has decided to move on and produce clothes to be worn. And who can blame her? It’s ready-to-wear, after all.
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.