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McCartney went to the heart of the English countryside in a sporty show that mixed posh furniture patterns with stretchy tweeds and zipper _ and the London Olympics on her mind.

“Everyone has to bring in a touch of the Games, don’t they?” said the designer backstage, referring to the Olympics media frenzy that has taken over her home city.

Tweed short dresses were fit for the tennis court as stretchy inserts in ultra-white and blue contoured a silhouette that flared. Models in tightly pulled, gymnastic buns looked ready to forward flip down the catwalk.

This style worked well with the jackets’ athletic shoulders and necklines, accentuated by jacquards with graphic silk. Softer knitwear provided a halftime break from the sporty look.

A cardigan dress twin-set in soft washed out blue, and a palette of pinky and dusty rose added a feminine touch. However, in a couple of pieces, the hourglass shape in thick knit made bottoms look overly bulky.

One person who didn’t seemed to mind was Stella’s father, Paul McCartney, looking on from the side-row.

“It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?” said the former Beatle, “but I suppose I’m probably biased!”


Wearability and light shone from Chloe’s fall-winter collection Monday - unsurprising, perhaps, from the house whose founder coined the original phrase “ready-to-wear” more than 60 years ago.

A sense of spring, not fall, bloomed from the largely off-white array of diaphanous silk blouses, scattered pearls and applique lace flowers on display at a sky-lit showroom in Paris’ central Tuileries garden.

Dimensional patchwork in wool that was felted gave the knitwear a playful, sporty ease, with airy lace sweaters. Even the British military parka constructions were cushioned by padding and soft-quilted silks.

One knit effect Teddy shearling in a leather V-neck captured the bohemian chic look of the Glastonbury music festival - all with a Parisian neatness and sophistication.

Clare Waight Keller, who became Chloe’s new creative director in June, conceded that her move to Paris six months ago could help explain the cross-Channel contrasts in Monday’s collection.

“I’ve just come from London where there’s a different spirit,” she said backstage. “I love Paris, but the Chloe girl is somewhere in between.”

Tuesday’s shows include Chanel, Valentino and Alexander McQueen.