Life and Style wRap: Paris Fashion Week 2013
Royalty, clowns and rock stars are the themes of Paris Fashion Week 2013

ROYAL IMPACT. Elie Saab's collection featured trains, veils and high-necked tops fit for a queen. Photo from 'Elie Saab' Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Life & Style stories from July 1 to 5 are dominated by Paris Fashion Week 2013. Here are stories straight from the runway.

Hedi Slimane brings back ‘rocker cool’

THE STAGE FOR ROCK. Models rock 'n rolled in skinny jeans and leather jackets. Screenshot from

[See original video here]

Hedi Slimane’s much anticipated second menswear collection for Saint Laurent exuded “rocker cool,” replacing the grunge feel of his debut. 

Credited with revolutionizing menswear during his stint at Dior from 2000 to 2007, Slimane is famed for teaming jackets cut short with narrow trousers in a “skinny” style copied by mass-market designers worldwide and even adopted by the rock world.

Stars Mick Jagger and Pete Doherty, frontman of the English band The Libertines, went on stage wearing his designs.

In an early feedback on Twitter, GQ Fashion lavished praise on the French designer. “Hedi Slimane does it again! Saint Laurent redefines rocker cool for SS [Saint Laurent].”

Other looks on the catwalk included red leather trousers teamed with a blue and white striped T-shirt and a sparkling “rock star” jacket.

Elsewhere there were parka coats, biker jackets and, of course, skinny jeans.

Karl Lagerfeld unveil’s ‘new world’ collection

An imaginary city revealed itself in the dilapidated life-sized theater that served as the setting for Chanel designer Karl Lagerfelt’s modernist couture collection.

Celebrities like Rihanna, “The Great Gatsby” director Baz Luhrmann and Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling picked their way past piles of rubble to reach their seats for the show in Paris’ vast Grand Palais.

The setting came complete with smashed columns, peeling plaster, mould-streaked walls, twisted metal and a tattered stage curtain that rose to unveil Lagerfeld’s brave “new world.”

Looks for autumn 2013/winter 2014 came in a palette of mostly grey, black and white with lots of tweed suits woven with metallic thread, short skirts with layered hemlines and wide belts. For evening clothes, there were dresses in geometric prints.

The styles were comfortable and easy to wear.

“I hate uncomfortable clothes… but they can be impeccable, clean, classic [and also comfortable]. You don’t have to be sloppy to be comfortable,” said the designer.

Lagerfeld’s latest collection is timed with the 100th anniversary of the opening of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s first shop in Deauville in the summer of 1913.

Christian Dior goes multicultural

Christian Dior artistic director Raf Simons unveiled a collection full of multicultural influences, taking inspiration from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. The designer acknowledged this as a step away from Dior’s exclusively French aesthetic.

Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence – who famously tripped on a Dior gown at this year’s Oscars – joined Asian celebrities Gianna Jun of South Korea and Sun Li of China in the front row.

Simons, presenting his third couture show since taking over in the wake of flamboyant John Galliano’s sacking, said he began by looking at “women from different continents and cultures who wear couture [and] their personal style.”

This then evolved “to be about Dior not just being about Paris and France, but about the rest of the world and how many fashion cultures impact on the house and myself,” the Belgian couturier said in a statement.

Asian-influenced pieces were “full of balance, tradition and purity,” went a statement issued by the fashion house, and European clothes focused on the “almost mythical status of ‘La Parisienne’ and the intimate links with the history of the house of Dior.”

For Africa, the “personal style of the Masai is particular in its inspiration,” and the Americas were represented by pieces that were “bold, sporty, dynamic and graphic.”

Reacting to the collection, Vogue magazine said that although the Dior hallmarks were all there, they “at times became virtually unrecognizable” due to African beading or changes to the hemlines.

Elie Saab, Frank Sorbier and the ‘royal affair’

The Paris couture shows were on a “royal affair” on July 3 with Elie Saab’s crown jewel-inspired collection while Frank Sorbier’s courtly models looked as if they had stepped out of a Holbein painting.

Saab’s shimmering regal gowns came in emerald green, sapphire blue and blood-red like “rubies plucked from a crown.”

Frank Sorbier meanwhile looked to medieval times after becoming fascinated by portraits of the era.

Models paraded at a stately pace through the formal gardens of the Swiss embassy in lace veils, richly embroidered silk jackets and high neck dresses with trains.

Jean Paul Gaultier ‘clowns around’ with fashion

POCKETS FULL OF STYLE. Jean Paul Gaultier uses the outrageously proportioned pockets of clowns in his new collection. Photo from

[See original image here]

David Bowie’s Pierrot costume in “Ashes to Ashes” was one of Jean Paul Gaultier’s inspirations for his clown-themed collection.

Couture looks from the French designer came with pointy hair, huge pockets, leopard print faux fur and clown’s hats.

Actress Catherine Deneuve was among those on the front row and French TV reality star Nabilla appeared on the catwalk in a velvet bustier dress called “Black Panther.”

“She’s exactly the sort of girl that I like, with lots of personality,” Gaultier said of the “voluptuous” brunette.

Gaultier said the “huge, huge” pockets of many looks came from the shape of oversized clowns’ trousers, adding that he had always admired Bowie’s costume in the video of his 1980 hit.

It was “very beautiful. I always dreamed to do some outfit like the costume of the white clown which is very different, very poetic,” he told reporters backstage. –

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