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Hermes dreams of stars; Elie Saab goes disco

Mar 04,2019
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A model wears a creation as part of the Elie Saab ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 collection, that was presented in Paris, on Saturday. [AP/YONHAP]
PARIS - Hermes dreamt of the stars but failed to light a spark, while Elie Saab let its hair down and channeled the 1970s. They were among design houses staging collections at Paris Fashion Week Saturday, as organizers were on heightened alert over the prospect of a 16th consecutive weekend of yellow vest protests.

Many guests invited to the Elie Saab show were held up by snaking traffic caused by the yellow vest demonstrations in Paris that began by the nearby Arc de Triomphe. But the display, held at the exclusive Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, started almost on time and without incident.

An infectious, retro soundtrack had fashion editors smiling as they tapped their feet at Elie Saab’s fun collection that channeled this season’s top trend: the ’70s.

Bright lighting banished any gray mood caused by the French capital’s overcast weather and angry demonstrations. It illuminated a typically-feminine array of color-rich gowns.

Charlie’s Angels-style jabot collars and high necks led the eye down to tight-fitting dresses with floppy ruffles across the bust or down the side. Later, sparkly disco gowns dazzled.

Thigh-high leather boots - another big Paris trend - were delivered in eye-popping colors, such as vivid blue, carmine red and cadmium green. They matched the hues of the gowns in a “total look” effect.

At Hermes, tiny light bulbs twinkled away from chic wood-paneled walls, creating the effect of a room filled with sparkling stars.

French designer Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski’s display for Hermes on Saturday evening was one framed in poetical language: “The late afternoon light has given away to a constellation in the sky... the air is electric,” read the program notes.

A black sheath with a fine geometric cross opened the show, glimmering with delicate studs. It was a nice design that introduced a star detail leitmotif that pervaded the 55 looks.

But as the collection progressed - via some slightly ill-fitting black leather jackets, bold distracting stripes at coat hems and high-neck silk chemises with an awkwardly-shaped print at the bust - it became clear this season Hermes’ electricity had failed to light up.

As ever with a brand synonymous with luxury, there were some sumptuous pieces: only Hermes can make thigh-high suede boots look this classy, for instance.

But items such as a coat in white coffee with geometric stripes - not quite nipped enough at the waist, and too baggy at the shoulder - revealed a slight issue in proportion.

AP