The stars of the Paris runway season might just be the mellower designers who don't play into the fashion game with a lot of hype. Rather, they get their message across in a quieter way; they know who their clients are and they follow their taste. At the Giambatista Valli show on Thursday, the social girls who love his clothes crowded into the front row to get first dibs on the gorgeous fluorescent cocktail dresses and coats. If Valli has such a hold on the young Royal Euro crowd (and he does), why didn't the Valentino Group make him the Roman couturier's successor? Valli, also a Roman, would have been the perfect choice: he knows what beautiful young women want to wear and his clothes are modern.
Stella McCartney has also become something of a runway star in her own relatively quiet way. She knows her customer, and every season she seems to come up with another light, breezy silhouette this spring it will be a gauzy floral print dress or a pair of washed silk shorts with wooden platform clogs to keep that young trendy woman happy. What's even more impressive about McCartney is the way she always adds another interesting dimension to her work one that usually revolves around her personal causes. In this case, she asked the garden designer Patrick Blanc to create a vertical garden of more than 30 different plant species as the backdrop to her runway. After the show the plants were donated to a housing project in the Paris suburb Boulogne-sur-Mer.
The front row at a Chanel show is always somewhat of a spectacle and this morning Karl Lagerfeld didn't disappoint either on the runway or in the front row. Victoria Beckham, Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Bilson all showed up, along with NBC's Ben Silverman and Courtney Love (not together). Love said she wears Chanel "whenever he let's me have it" and spent the entire show commenting on each look. "I hope he produces that," she said, pointing to what she called a rock chick bag, a Chanel hobo bag covered in silver and black sequins. (For those coming out of rehab, Lagerfeld also made a mini quilted chain bag for an ankle bracelet.) The rest of the show, an homage to America with denim swimsuits, blue and white star-spangled silk dresses and red and white striped jackets also got a thumbs up from Love. "God Bless America," Love said when asked what she thought of it.