AP PHOTOS: Paris Fashion Week returns after virus interruption
Women wearing sunglasses and body-hugging models paraded down a sleek black runway under a glowing orange Eiffel Tower at night.
Strands of fringe sprang from the hem of a lemon-yellow creation, her model clutching a shiny handbag adorned with safety pins.
The eyes of the fashion world were even more focused than usual on the ever-chic French capital in recent days, as the designers showed off their latest work for Paris Fashion Week after going mostly virtual for a year due to of the coronavirus pandemic.
While most of this season’s 97 shows have remained online as the country recovers from another wave of COVID-19 infections in the summer, about a third have opted for a physical return to the track, including industry heavyweights from Chanel and Hermès to Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint-Laurent.
They chose an eclectic collection of iconic backdrops – alongside the gothic Notre-Dame cathedral and the serene Seine; the 16th century Tuileries garden lined with trees in central Paris; the glassy, bulbous globe of the La Seine Musicale concert complex. After a parade in the trendy Marais district, models strutted through the streets outside to the enthusiastic cheers of surprised passers-by.
Thousands of camera-happy viewers as well as New York fashion editors newly able to cross the Atlantic after pandemic travel restrictions between Europe and the United States were eased were in attendance.
The event was not lacking in star power either, with appearances like Gillian Anderson, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Catherine Deneuve, Roger Federer, Giveon, Vanessa Kirby, Demi Moore and Rosamund Pike.
France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron joined senior officials one evening at the Hôtel des Invalides for the presentation of a new collection by Italian designer Fabio Porlod featuring female amputees and injured women. The Ministry of Defense described the initiative as “part of a charity evening whose funds raised will improve the living environment of seriously wounded war victims, victims of attacks and people hospitalized at the National Institution. invalidities”.