Givenchy homage on first day of Paris haute couture shows

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Clare Waight Keller, center, fashion designer for Givenchy, acknowledges the audience at the end of her 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection fashion show by Givenchy in Paris on Sunday, July 1. (AFP)
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A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris on Sunday, July 1. (AFP)
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A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris on Sunday, July 1. (AFP)
Updated 02 July 2018
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Givenchy homage on first day of Paris haute couture shows

  • To the sound of Givenchy’s muse Audrey Hepburn singing ‘Moon River,’ the models strutted down a catwalk that shimmered like a river.
  • The prestigious ‘haute couture’ label is accorded by the French industry ministry to acknowledge traditional craftsmanship in hand-sewn, custom-made garments using strict criteria

PARIS: Clare Waight Keller, the Givenchy stylist who grabbed the global fashion spotlight by designing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, paid homage to the storied house’s late founder in her latest haute couture collection.
On the first day of Paris couture week, the Givenchy show, held in the gardens of the National Archives in the city’s Marais district, was shrouded in mystery and old-school Hollywood glamor.
It was Keller’s first show since the house’s founder Hubert de Givenchy died in March at the age of 91.
To the sound of Givenchy’s muse Audrey Hepburn singing “Moon River,” the models strutted down a catwalk that shimmered like a river.
Draped dresses, voluminous jewels, and feathers dotted the collection — 47-year-old Waight Keller’s second haute couture offering since she succeeded Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy in March 2017, shortly after leaving rival label Chloe after six years at the helm.
The color palette was essentially black and white. Regal capes abounded — sometimes short, sometimes sweeping, sometimes hooded.
Gem-colored sequins covered some dresses, evoking mermaid scales. Even the masculine silhouettes also sparkled with sequins.
The British artistic director created the boat-necked, sculpted dress that Markle wore for her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, featuring a five-meter train embroidered with flowers from all 53 Commonwealth countries.
Markle also chose Givenchy for her first official engagement on June 14 alongside Queen Elizabeth II, sporting a beige wool crepe dress with a small cape.
The official haute couture program includes 35 shows, running through Wednesday, with collections from 11 nations: Belgium, China, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, The Netherlands, Russia and the US.
Unlike ready-to-wear shows, haute couture rollouts in January and July are a solely Parisian affair.
The prestigious “haute couture” label is accorded by the French industry ministry to acknowledge traditional craftsmanship in hand-sewn, custom-made garments using strict criteria.
Only 14 fashion houses currently boast the recognition, including Chanel, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela, Schiaparelli, Alexis Mabille and Stephane Rolland.
The catwalk displays of some of the world’s most expensive clothes will be followed on Thursday by high-end jewelry collections by the likes of Anna Hu, Bulgari, Chanel, Chopard, De Beers, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Mikimoto.
Off the official program, fashionistas on Sunday were treated to a show of exclusive creations by Sonia Rykiel, the fashion house founded by the influential French designer who died in 2016.
Although the house develops ready-to-wear lines, it worked up handmade, limited-edition items to mark its 50th anniversary for the show in the elegant courtyard of the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Artistic director Julie de Libran paid homage to some of the label’s classics, with trademark mesh, black contrasted with bright colors, and lots of sequins and embroidery.
See-through black tulle skirts were paired with big coats or wool pullovers, while a wedding dress was worn with jeans.
The pioneering Rykiel was a fixture in the industry for half a century, buoyed by the Swinging Sixties craze in London and the emerging feminist movement across the globe.


Dolce & Gabbana cancels China show after racial row

Updated 21 November 2018
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Dolce & Gabbana cancels China show after racial row

  • ‘Foreign companies operating in China should respect China and respect Chinese people’
  • ‘We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China’

BEIJING: Dolce & Gabbana canceled a long-planned fashion show in Shanghai Wednesday after an outcry over racially offensive posts on its social media accounts, a setback for the company in the world’s most important luxury market.
The Italian fashion house quickly issued a statement apologizing and saying the accounts as well as that of its namesake designer Stefano Gabbana had been hacked, but it did little to calm a brewing social media uproar in China.
Some of China’s biggest celebrities had been billed to attend the “Great Show” event, but on Wednesday one after another announced their withdrawal.
“Our mother country is more important than anything, we appreciate the vigor and beauty of our cultural heritage,” said the management of Wang Junkai, a hugely popular singer in boyband TFBoys, as they announced his withdrawal.
“I love my mother country,” actress Li Bingbing told her 42 million fans on Weibo.
The controversy arose after Dolce & Gabbana posted short clips on Instagram earlier this week showing a woman eating pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks that some deemed culturally insensitive.
It erupted into a firestorm after screenshots circulated of an Instagram user’s chat with the famously volatile Stefano Gabbana in which he used five smiling poop emojis to talk about China and launched insults at the country and its people.
Even China’s Communist Youth League jumped into the fray.
“Foreign companies operating in China should respect China and respect Chinese people,” the youth league tweeted to Dolce & Gabbana on Weibo.
Actor Talu Wang also tweeted on Weibo: “Respect is more important than anything.”
As the backlash escalated, Dolce & Gabbana took to Instagram and Weibo saying its account and that of designer Stefano Gabbana had been hacked and that its legal office was “urgently investigating” the matter.
“We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” the company said on Instagram.
Dolce & Gabbana said separately on its verified Weibo account that the show “has been rescheduled,” though it did not specify the reason nor did it give a new date for the event.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” it said.
The controversy marks the latest backpedaling by a foreign company for offending Chinese consumers with advertising or information that insults China or clashes with Beijing’s official position.
Earlier this year, German automaker Mercedes-Benz apologized for “hurting the feelings” of people in China after its Instagram account quoted Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, seen as a separatist by Beijing.