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PARIS FASHION WEEK

FASHION

McCartney leads celeb invasion at Paris show

British music legend Paul McCartney created a sensation in Paris on Monday as he led a celebrity invasion of his daughter Stella's fashion show that included rapper Kanye West and actor Woody Harrelson.

McCartney leads celeb invasion at Paris show
Former Beatles Paul McCartney (C) and Nancy Shellen (2R) and Woody Harrelson attend Stella McCartney's fashion show in Paris. Photo: Patrick Kovarick/AFP

British models and socialite sisters Cara and Poppy Delevingne and Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino also joined the the front row at Paris Fashion Week's most star-studded event yet.

The ex-Beatle rushed in at the last minute to take his place, setting off an explosion of camera flashes and taxing the ushers who had to shoo the paparazzi away so the catwalk parade could start.

Under the ornate, gilded ceiling and elegant chandeliers of Paris's 19th century Opera building, Stella McCartney unveiled a confident autumn-winter collection.

She married simple, relaxed lines to silhouettes exaggerated by overly long sleeves, hems and pant legs.

Black dresses hugging shoulders and waists were joined by many grey moulded woollen outfits ranging from suits to deceptively simple dresses.

(Stella McCartney acknowledges the applause at her Paris fashion show. Photo: AFP)



Convincing faux fur

In her production notes, the 43-year-old said her themes were "celebrating freedom" and "teasing sensuality".

Life-long vegetarian and animal rights advocate Stella also presented long-haired coats in black and white, made from incredibly convincing faux fur.

Eveningwear employed canny touches of other materials along shoulders and ribs to make lines appear even slimmer.

A storm of applause broke out at the end of the show, as Paul McCartney stood, hugged Harrelson and West, and moved with his American wife Nancy Shevell through the crowd to congratulate his daughter backstage.

Stella McCartney started her own brand in 2001, and has since built a rock-solid name of her own, far from the shadow of her father's fame.

Her shows are now top events at the yearly Paris Fashion Week, up there with Kenzo, Dries Van Noten and Balmain.

Her 72-year-old father, who composed all-time classics "Let it be" and "Yesterday", is still performing.

Last week he announced he was extending a world tour with nine dates in Europe, including an emotional return to the Beatles' native Liverpool.

Kanye West, the rapper husband to US reality TV star Kim Kardashian, teamed up with McCartney for a single released in January called "Only One".

The collaboration, which has West singing a soft ballad while McCartney plays the organ, was released after the two met early 2014 in Los Angeles.

It was said to be inspired by West's daughter with Kardashian, North.

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FASHION

Paris exhibition celebrates 100 years of French Vogue

A new exhibition in Paris will tell the story of 100 years of French Vogue - from the post-war 'New Look' of Christian Dior through the sexual liberation of the 1960s to the dangling-cigarette waifs of the 2000s.

French Vogue celebrates 100 years
French Vogue celebrates 100 years. Photo: Thomas Olva/AFP

But as well as celebrating the magazine’s storied history, the exhibit comes at a time of turbulence for the publication.

Just last month, it was confirmed that its editor of 10 years, Emmanuelle Alt, was out and wouldn’t be replaced.

She was not alone.

Looking to cut costs, owner Conde Nast International has axed editors across Europe over the past year, and put international Vogue editions under the direct control of global editorial director, Anna Wintour, in New York.

New York-based Anna Wintour now has overall control of French Vogue. Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Like much of the media industry, Vogue is struggling with tumbling sales and ad revenue in the digital era.

But the latest twist is also part of the endless push and pull between New York and Paris going back to its early days.

“The whole history of French Vogue is one of back-and-forth with Conde Nast in New York – growing more independent for a while, then being reined back in,” said Sylvie Lecallier, curator of the new exhibition, “Vogue Paris 1920-2020″, which opened this weekend after a year’s delay due to the pandemic.

The Paris edition was often the loftier, more bohemian sibling to its more hard-nosed New York version.

But it was also the hotbed in which much of 20th century style and womenhood came to be defined.

“Paris was the place to hunt out talent and content and bring it to New York,” said Lecallier.

The exhibition charts the evolution from art deco drawings of the 1920s through the erotic image-making of photographers like Helmut Newton in the 1960s and 1970s.

Its last peak was under editor Carine Roitfeld in the 2000s, who brought back a provocative Gallic identity by ridding the newsroom of foreign staff and becoming a fashion icon in her own right.

Her successor, Alt, was a quieter presence, though she still oversaw key moments including its first transgender cover star, Brazilian Valentina Sampaio, in 2017.

But internet culture has created “a perfect storm” for Vogue, says media expert Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis.

“The first 80 years of Vogue’s life, it had the market to itself, it was the bible for fashion,” McCabe told AFP.

“But online today, there are so many other ways to get your information. Influencers, Instagram, YouTube — everyone’s a threat.”

In a world where new fashion trends can blow up around the world in seconds, it has become much harder for a monthly magazine to set the pace.

“It’s not that they can’t survive for another 100 years — but they will be differently sized,” McCabe said.

Vogue has tried to branch out into different areas, including events.

“I used to work for a magazine, and today I work for a brand,” Alt said on the eve of French Vogue’s 1,000th issue in 2019.

But the big money was always in print, and Vogue Paris sales are dropping steadily from 98,345 in 2017 to 81,962 to 2020, according to data site ACPM.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the new top job in Paris, redefined as “head of editorial content”, went to Eugenie Trochu, who was key to building the magazine’s online presence.

She declared herself “thrilled to be part of Vogue’s international transformation”.

For the curator of the exhibition, it is ironic timing.

“We had no idea it would end like this when we started work on the exhibition,” said Lecallier.

“Who knows where it will go from here.”

The exhibition Vogue Paris 1920-2020 is at the Palais Galliera in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. The gallery is open 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays. Tickets for the exhibition are €14 (€12 for concessions and under 18s go free) and must be reserved online in advance. 

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