Of all the lies we tell ourselves, perhaps “Uggs can look fashionable!” is the most transparent. But this does not prevent me from tromping around the exquisite salons of Paris with just such galumphing horrors covering my feet, slipping and sliding my way from the Grand Palais to the Tuileries. (For the record: The French don’t plow, they don’t shovel, and it’s apparently illegal to salt.) The audience at Dior, shivering and staring down sadly at what is probably a million euros' worth of ruined Louboutin booties and Rick Owens wedges, are ensconced in a heated tent as the snow swirls: Inside it’s summer, with a maze of perfectly pruned topiary for the models to traverse. Among the momentary diversions from the weather are miniature flowered, beaded boleros worn with slim black pants, sheer glittering dresses with appliquéd blossoms, and an adorable veiled bonnet (three words that don’t usually go together) atop an ivory extravaganza, for a bride with the poitrine to rock a strapless bodice.
Those in search of the twisted exuberance that couture can sometimes provide will be happy to see that Atelier Versace promulgates black fox harnesses, pinstriped wool separates shot through with authentic 24-karat gold, and hot-pink shorty nightdresses with trains. If you are that one-in-a-billion billionaire client craving a chartreuse mink-and-mirror-shard dress, you have found your house.
At Jean Paul Gaultier, last January’s homage to the deceased Amy Winehouse has been replaced with an invitation to embark on a passage to India. The faux-Hindi lettering on the seating cards and the bright orange runway leave no doubt of this intention, though in truth Mr. Gaultier is a citizen of the world, and many of these ensembles could lay claim to any country that puts a premium on patchwork, fringe, and salmon satin cone bras, this last a JPG trope so prevalent at one time that the house sold a teddy bear thusly clad. At the end of the show, a model emerges in a vast white gown, a veritable Bollywood Scarlett O’Hara, and four little girls run out from under her skirt and tumble down the runway. It is in equal parts creepy and touching, which it turns out the designer has a gift for, as the same could be said for last winter’s Winehouse event.
The air is literally charged at Iris Van Herpen, a show that is getting a lot of buzz this week. (There’s always at least one.) A statue in the center of the runway is taken for stone until it moves — turns out it’s a performance artist who commands bolts of lightning (well, some sort of glowing zigzag anyway) from his (or her?) hands and head. (Hey, it’s a living.) The clothes are similarly high-voltage, and include a gaggle of frocks replete with black tinseling stuff that will make the brave wearer look like a very chic, goth Christmas tree.
The trees at Chanel have been painstakingly transplanted in the Grand Palais, boardwalks have been installed, there’s sand on the ground, and, but for the lack of rabid deer and a Donna Summer soundtrack, you might be on Fire Island. This walk from the imaginary Pines culminates not in Cherry Grove but in a chilly amphitheater where the audience views models with punk-belle-epoque feathers in their hair, clad in winter white with a clever extended shoulder and sequined floral evening dresses at once spectacular and restrained. The show closes with two brides escorting Hudson Kroenig, the little kid Lagerfeld puts on all his runways (what if he doesn’t grow up cute, will Karl still use him?) — a welcome statement on gay marriage, which remains a controversial topic, and only makes you prouder to have a president who gives a shout to Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall.
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.