YSL ad triggers sexism outcry as Chanel rockets to space

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) _ Chanel rocketed into space Tuesday at Paris Fashion Week in an interstellar-themed show spectacular that saw designer Karl Lagerfeld reach for the stars _ and a star-filled front row.

Singer-turned-fashion designer Rihanna stunned crowds in a standout citrus lime coat at her Fenty X Puma collection that channeled school-girl-gone-bad.

And Paris saw protest against a controversial new “Saint Laurent” ad campaign that rights groups say is sexist.

Here are the highlights:



It was a return to form for Lagerfeld Tuesday, who explored space-infused styles in a fresh-feeling collection that was the 83-year-old’s best in seasons.

Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne and Lily-Rose Depp delighted as Lagerfeld pressed the “ignition” button that saw a gargantuan Chanel “Space Agency” rocket take off inside the Grand Palais.

A round, raised-collar defined the chic aesthetic on skirt-suit styles _ evoking a space-helmet neckline. While, sparkling silver and white boots merged the utilitarian astronaut-look with a chic Chanel signature _ the square black toe.

Minimalist pure-white mini dresses also cleverly captured the futuristic feeling _ with cosmic-embroidered clusters sparkling against black fabric _ the vast fabric of space.

But beyond the smart fashion details, Lagerfeld really had some fun.

Guests starting snapping with their cameras as models wrapped in huge reflective, heat-resistant shawl-blankets strutted around the giant, ceiling-high space shuttle installation that at one point pumped out smoke, grumbling noisily.

It was Paris fashion’s Apollo No. 5.



Moving on from her more saccharine, historic Marie Antoinette looks last season, the nascent 29-year-old designer developed a little _ going back to college in the scholastic Monday night show.

It was called Fenty University.

On-trend oversize nerdy glasses, long flappy scarves, huge preppy sweaters, pleated skirts, lycra shorts and sports team uniforms were imagined in orange maroon, apple green, bright yellow and dark blue.

Caps were emblazoned with an “F,” denoting the Barbadian star’s middle name of Fenty.

As is the now the Rihanna signature, many of the looks were given a sexual, edgy twist _ here seen in exposed midriffs, flesh-baring shorts and one knit sports crop top with breasts exposed at the bottom.

Thigh-high laced-up baseball boots, in blue, yellow and white added a dose of fetishistic, school-girl provocation.

Rihanna has shown critics that she’s growing as a designer with this, more thoughtful collection.

But it hasn’t convinced everyone.

One Twitter observer suggested the star not quit her day job, acerbically commenting: “Please Don’t Stop The Music.”



Campaigners are accusing Saint Laurent of sexism after an ad campaign was released that they say features women in degrading poses. They are demanding its withdrawal.

A French women’s rights group held a protest Tuesday in front of Saint Laurent’s Left Bank Paris boutique against the publicity campaign that shows a model in fur and fishnets opening her thighs, and another model in a leotard bending over a stool.

Advertising campaigns in France are frequently criticized for objectifying women to sell products, but this season’s Saint Laurent campaign was singled out notably because of the suggestion of violence.

The Associated Press reached out to the house, but they had no immediate comment.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP