Valentino goes back to black at Paris Fashion Week


PARIS (Reuters) – From leather bodices to sheer frilly dresses, Italian label Valentino showcased a series of all-black looks in Paris on Sunday as fashion houses pressed on with their shows in spite of the coronavirus outbreak that has kept some attendees away.

Paris Fashion Week is due to run until March 3, with major brands including Chanel and LVMH’s Louis Vuitton yet to put on their displays.

At Valentino, another highlight in the calendar, models strutted the runway in a series of black outfits, some decked out in sequins, others in more delicate lace designs.

The somber looks were offset by splashes of fiery red here and there – from a ruffled clutch bag to long gloves – while designer Pierpaolo Piccioli ended the show with airier tones, including some sparkly mesh gowns.

Some workers at the scene wore black face masks as they put the final touches to the seating and set before guests arrived.

The fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China, has pushed organizers of some major global events to cancel as a precaution, and France on Saturday put a temporary ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people.

Fashion shows tend to be smaller, with several hundred people attending at most.

Many Chinese journalists and fashion bloggers were absent in Paris this season due to travel restrictions, however, while French label Agnes b. on Friday became the first non-Chinese fashion house to cancel a presentation due to the outbreak.

Earlier on Sunday, Japanese designer Issey Miyake turned a school courtyard into a runway for his fashion show, where models showed off striking black and white styles that made them look like they were wearing paper cutouts.

The fall-winter collection also featured futurist looks with a folded jumpsuit evoking Japanese origami.

The show closed with a riot of color in a choreographed parade of male and female models wearing genderless garments, with jumper sleeves that were attached to one another to form a long human chain.

“By linking people’s knitwear, it’s like forming a chain between past, present and future,” designer Satoshi Kondo told Reuters after the show. “I wanted to show people’s positivity in being connected … and I wanted to express diversity through different fabrics and colors.”

Reporting by Laetitia Volga and Sarah White; Editing by Ros Russell