Chanel, Valentino and McQueen in Paris

Kate Moss makes Chanel the talking point of the day during Paris Fashion Week, while McQueen generates a fashion fight

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince at Chanel
Kate Moss and Jamie Hince at Chanel

Kate Moss makes Chanel the talking point of the day during Paris Fashion Week, while McQueen generates a fashion fight

Yesterday was the turn of the big names at Paris Fashion Week, with Chanel, Valentino and Alexander McQueen all showing their autumn/winter 09 collections within hours of each other.

Mind you, thanks to the appearance of a certain Miss Moss at Chanel, you'd be forgiven for thinking the only name of the day which mattered was Kate.

From the opposite side of the catwalk we watched in awe as a gang of photographers fought, screamed and tussled to get a picture of La Moss, who sat sandwiched between boyfriend Jamie Hince and photographer-to-the-stars Mario Testino.


Poor Milla Jovovich, Claudia Schiffer, Lily Allen and Beth Ditto could only look on in wonder and, no doubt, ponder why they didn't warrant that kind of attention. Even new kid on the block Freida Pinto didn't garner one tenth of the adoration paid by the paparazzi to Mossy.

To be fair, Kate was looking pretty spectacular, clad in a smart black tux jacket and bootleg trousers (could this mean skinnys are officially dead?), but even she seemed bemused by the fireworks she was generating, wiping away tears of laughter as Chanel's security team man-handled the scrum out of the way.

When the show finally started (after the men in suits had hastily repaired the side of the catwalk which had been ripped away in the excitement of it all), Kate and the thousands of other spectators in the opulent surroundings of the Grand Palais saw the catwalk turned black and white, with nearly all the Beau Brummell-inspired, Regency period, dandy-esque looks turned out in strict monochrome shades.

When designer Karl Lagerfeld did break his strict palette he also changed the fashion, with ice cream shades of pistachio and pink brightening up more modern pieces, including knitted jumper dresses, satin pyjama-style trousers and even some Fame-style legwarmers.

At Valentino a few hours later, things couldn't have been more different, with rich jewel tones the order of the day. Towering platform-toed, spike-heeled sandals were coloured in vermillion orange or ruby red, while dip-dyed evening gowns were painted jade green or turquoise blue. With everything as luxurious as possible, crystals, satins and furs were also in plentiful supply.

However, the biggest cheer of the day came for Alexander McQueen, who had the crowd on its feet, whistling and cheering, before the last model had even finished her spin on the runway at his late evening show.

With the centrepiece of the catwalk a bonfire of old set pieces from McQueen's past shows and the runway itself made from broken glass tiles, the models strode carefully in their weird and wonderful creations.

A hounds-tooth print was the cornerstone of the collection, firstly in a Dior-style New Look jacket and skirt, albeit one worn with a hair hat and blow-up doll red lipstick, and then gradually exaggerated more and more over subsequent outfits until the little squares became birds in flight.

Those bird-in-flight prints then morphed into fully feathered outfits, with the final two looks of the evening – one white, one black - destined not for the red carpet or even Tilda Swinton's wardrobe, but a fashion museum somewhere instead.

Not everyone loved the collection, with arguments breaking out between those who adored it and those who absolutely hated it while McQueen was still taking his lap of honour. However, it certainly got people talking and that, after all, is what fashion is all about.

What did you think of McQueen's collection? See the photos here and then post your comments in the box below…





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