A younger, funkier bunch (Amber Rose!) gathered at the Pavillon Alexandre III in the 8th arrondissement for Vivienne Westwood's Spring/Summer 2011 collection on Friday evening to behold the industry's enfant terrible spin her black magic on the runway.
After a tardy start, which drew catcalls from the photographer pit, the show finally went under way and the audience fell silent as a booming drum beat preceded a parade of ghostly, black-lipped, white-masked beauties in a wardrobe worthy of the mistress of Hades--if he had one. One part Tutankhamun, one part Marie Antoinette, the collection seemed to be extricated from the catacombs of ancient Rome with plenty of peasant blouses, full skirts, and of course, cleavage. Westwood even went as far to swaddle some poor models' faces in dyed silk, leaving the blinded mannequin to teeter down the catwalk with only slits for the nose and mouth.
Still, there was plenty of cheeky wearable duds like full tulle skirts, striped culottes and trench coats in Westwood's signature Scottish plaid. The it-factor? A variation of Westwood's cult Pirate boot (made famous by Kate Moss) in the form of ankle booties, which had the French Vogue girls furiously taking notes. In fact, French Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld, clad in a head-to-toe gray cashmere ensemble with a leopard trench, proudly flaunted her signature bed-head hair while her international colleagues made a vain attempt to maintain their own frizz issues-- proving that only the French can make rainy days look chic.
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