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Revolutionary the show was not, but the Chanel brand is definitely flying steady with reason to be excited about the future. A strong clientele, and robust business mean that like other couture-producing labels, they are bucking the downtrend in a gloomy financial climate.


Giorgio Armani proved once again that his Armani Prive collection is one of the sexiest tickets in town.

A noisy media scrum was triggered Tuesday when actresses Cameron Diaz and Jessica Chastain took their seats, delaying the start of the show.

A black-and-green jacquard silk bustier and ample skirt shimmered with a bodice of black micro-sequins. A flared bustier dress teemed with tiny sequins like green snowflakes.

“I love the green look, so stylish and so elegant with the embroiderings,” said Chastain, star of “The Help,” which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture on Tuesday.

The last of Armani’s 44 pieces got whoops from spectators: a stunning but restrictive mermaid dress with flounces embroidered with green degrade crystals. The model-cum-siren struggled to get one foot in front of the other, stumbling at one point.

Apparently no one told her that mermaids aren’t supposed to walk.


A strict palette of red, lime green, black and ivory, and fabric in its purest form, met the fashion set for French designer Stephane Rolland’s highly-sculptural offering.

Inspired by the work of kinetic artist Michel Deverne, Rolland’s rich floor-sweeping gowns were kept ultra-simple to show off the movement of the materials.

Clean silhouettes, combined with sweeping waist appendages and expert draping, were broken up only by the odd shiny breastplate or waistband in gold metal.

But you couldn’t help but feel that Rolland fell short of the mark. His aim was crystal clear: displaying the natural beauty of fabrics such as silk jersey, gazar and organza that often are embroidered to death in couture. However, the collection suffered from its simplicity and became a bit repetitive.

For the finale piece Rolland’s muse-of-the-day, former supermodel Yasmin Le Bon looked uncomfortable walking in a humongous red silk jersey ball gown with assorted lacquered metal appliques. She had a right to be nervous: weighing in at 50 kilos (110 pounds) and 45 meters (147.5 feet) of fabric at its longest point, the train had to be carried by two assistants.


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