PARIS (AP) — Balmain’s ode to Parisian couture impressed insiders at Paris Fashion Week on Friday almost as much as the show’s infectious soundtrack, which had model Cara Delevingne lip-synching. Issey Miyake, meanwhile, took the occasion to introduce a new inventive fashion material.

Here are some highlights from the Spring 2019 shows:


In homage to the French capital’s reputation as a center of fashion design know-how, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing declared his mantra was mastering “the rules before you…break them.”

Guests at Balmain’s ambitious spring show, including model Alessandra Ambrosio and socialite Olivia Palermo, looked on with delight as the presentation mixed the fashion capital’s traditional couture DNA up in deconstruction.

With white the dominant color, the Balmain atelier’s needle-workers had gone to work skillfully on construction,

A giant oval wrap that opened in segmented shell-like sections had guests snapping their cameras.

The same shell-like sections were seen later, but this time deconstructed, looking almost-upside down, with a fan shape stitched onto a skirt.

The look — a skintight white peaked-shoulder gown — was made with strips of material that were snipped away in places to resemble bandages — almost like the wrapping of an Egyptian mummy.

The Egypt idea, in fact, was revealed as a dominant theme as the collection progressed.

Rousteing explored his “fascination with the impressive obelisks, pyramids and columns that date from Napoleon’s campaigns and adorn” Paris.

Dramatic Egyptian shoulders mixed with hieroglyphic prints, while denim and tweed were treated to look like ancient papyrus.

Some of the detailing came across as too much, but the enthusiastic applause the designer received was well-deserved.

“I enjoy pushing envelopes, thinking outside the box,” he said in a note placed on guest’s seats — in an envelope.



It’s quite a feat when a fashion show soundtrack stands out as much as the clothes.

At Balmain’s Friday morning show, catchy pop hits had editors seated in the front row tapping their feet, nodding their heads and joyfully mouthing or singing the lyrics.

Model and actress Cara Delevingne should be credited for initiating the sing-along enthusiasm among normally purse-lipped fashion insiders.

Delevingne opened the show in a white peaked-shoulder coat and metallic black bustier, lip-synching Prince’s “When Dove’s Cries” all the way down the runway.

As she took a finale bow with designer Rousteing, Delevingne mouthed the song’s lyrics again as she danced backward in heels, trying not to trip and sticking her tongue out a few times.

The infectious spring collection soundtrack also included Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

It had guests humming all the way down the gilded staircase of the venue — Paris’ opulent City Hall.



“The history of mankind has been made by hands,” Issey Miyake said in presenting a collection featuring a new flexible and malleable cloth.

The Franco-Japanese house famed for its cutting-edge use of techno-fabrics this season decided to showcase a material called “DOUGH DOUGH.”

The 31-piece collection began underwhelmingly with a series of gowns reminiscent of tie-dye. But then swathes of billowing fabric in celestial blue and white were used to form tops and skirts with beautifully abstract silhouettes.

Models in giant hats twisted the rims of the headwear as they smiled and walked by.

“Cloth too, seeks freedom,” read the program notes.

One scrunched-up gray dress shown toward the end had a wonderful organic feel with veiny stripes.

The cloth was a fresh fashion idea by designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae.


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