Kristen Stewart and Lily-Rose Depp attend the Chanel show

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PARIS – Chanel led Paris Fashion Week to its final day with a show that illustrated how designers and the people they dress want to look to the future with optimism.

Fashion is said to be a mirror of our times – and the spring-summer collections featured here were sexy, vibrant and cheerful despite, or perhaps because of, the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade took place Tuesday evening in front of an uncluttered audience in an annex of the Eiffel Tower, but the place had nothing to do with the pandemic. The usual site, the Grand Palais, is being renovated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

American actress Kristen Stewart got up late to the Parisian mainstay parade wearing a pink Chanel skirt suit. The French-American model-actress Lily-Rose Depp also showed up for Chanel.

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Here are some highlights from the last day of the ready-to-wear collections, including Louis Vuitton:

Chanel gets banged at the beach

Suitably enough for a paparazzi-themed show, a group of frantic guardians rushed Stewart late to take his place. The guests had to look twice to see who the late guest was because the “Twilight” star looked almost unrecognizable.

The actress, ambassador Chanel, sported a chic blonde beehive for her latest role as Princess Diana in “Spencer,” which was partly filmed in Paris and slated for a November release.

Designer Virginie Viard was in a scorching mood for spring. The theme was the goal, and real photographers, including the Associated Press, huddled around a freestyle podium on the red carpet instead of lining up in their normal scrum. The models posed theatrically, with thumbs of the leg and stomach exposed. The scene elicited laughter from Depp.

The collection was entirely devoted to swimsuits. Sporty monochrome bikinis were worn with cascading silver necklaces, pendants and talismans. Bold black-white contrasts and large, statement buttons offered a faint 1980s scent.

Chanel’s bread and butter skirt suits were colorful with stripes and patterns as if they stepped straight out of a Saint Tropez bikini. Yet this season, sadly, Viard hasn’t seemed to push the creative envelope.

The vibe of beach and optimism at a time when the pandemic still has limited exotic vacations might have sprung from a desire to project hope that the freedom to travel will soon return. Or was it a question of making the guests dream?

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Louis Vuitton 200th anniversary

“Like a trousseau which is transmitted and modified over time”, this is how the creator of Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquiere described his encyclopedic show, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the eponymous founder of the house.

For the sumptuous spectacle of the Louvre which marked the milestone, Ghesquière imagined an enchanted historical ball.

“The figure of a vampire who travels through the ages” was a key inspiration in the display, he said. The collection felt like a visual phantasm at times, dipping in and out of different time periods as the house itself looks to its heritage and looks to the future.

Historical details – early looks featured tedious 1920s-style embroidery from a 19th-century pearl stock, followed by stiff necklaces held in place by metallic threads – mixed with contemporary pieces, such as funky fluorescent Roman sandals.

In a similar vein, silhouettes of puffy skirts with built-in scaffolding “evoking the early days of Louis Vuitton,” Ghesquiere said, evoked the wealthy Parisian women of the late 19th century who were the fashion house’s first clients.

And yet, as soon as guests got a chance to fall in love with 1890s nostalgia, a pair of drainpipe jeans brought their reverie to the 1990s.

It was a great anachronism.

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Miu Miu’s quirks

The powerful row of celebrities in the foreground defines Miuccia Prada’s eccentric little sister brand, Miu Miu, just as much as the well-known humor and eccentric contrasts of the clothing.

This season, 21-year-old American actress and singer Halle Bailey, the star of Disney’s upcoming “The Little Mermaid”, took the lion’s share of camera shots in a front row that also included the model. British Alexa Chung.

In terms of fashion, the display was exceptionally understated and clean. The black, browns and oranges of the fallen leaves brought an autumnal color palette to the spring-summer runway – a typical and intentional contradiction of the unpredictable Italian designer.

In looks that mixed dress with the street, a slouchy school vibe that permeated the 50 looks show. As usual for Miu Miu, the collection had a lot of quirks.

A gray cable-knit sweater had the belly section cut off, next to the frayed white shirt hems.

Prada also completely cut the legs of some pale men’s office pants, giving the pieces the funky, low-cut style of a tennis skirt. Men’s woolen socks were worn high like tights.

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