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Dior Reimagines Feminist Fashion in History in Paris Show

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Naomi Campbell wears a creation as part of the Off-White Ready To Wear Fall/Winter 2022-2023 fashion collection (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

PARIS (AP) — Dior’s affirmed feminist designer Maria Grazia Chiuri used the male gaze, as reflected in female oil portraits across the centuries, to make a fashion statement on female empowerment and subjugation.

But Tuesday’s feisty ready-to-wear display in Paris, set in the splendid Tuileries Gardens, was also just a beautifully conceived collection — one of the Italian designer’s finest — which served to start Paris Fashion Week on strong creative footing.

As editors busily filed past myriad masterpieces, some expressed relief that the French government ruled the face mask to no longer be obligatory at shows.

Yet despite the glamor and optimistic moments, the conflict in Ukraine was not far from fashion insiders’ minds — the Paris Fashion Federation having offered a rare statement in support of freedom.

Here are some highlights of fall-winter 2022 ready-to-wear shows.

DIOR MAKES HERSTORY

An installation of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “Lady with an Ermine” hanging in the entrance led fashion insiders, including popstar Rihanna, model Elle Macpherson and tennis ace Maria Sharapova, inside the venue to discover wall-to-wall paintings.

Though the art at first seemed more at home at the nearby Louvre Museum, on closer inspection the female subjects sported contemporary jarring double eyes and seemed to symbolize a sort of new female vision.

This, the work of Italian contemporary artist Mariella Bettineschi, was Chiuri’s starting block — one she used to explore and deconstruct historic female fashions.

Corsetry, the 1940s bar jacket (the house signature), as well as sheer layering reimagined the codes of yesteryear.

But this time for Dior they were all about protection or armor against the world — with lashings of fashion tech.

Head hung down combatively, the first model sported a fierce, minimalist black body suit with white lines — both like a skeleton and a cutting pattern.

Bright multicolor leather gloves evoked the form of 18th century styles to the elbow, imagined in contrasting biker styles with padding at the knuckles.

A silver bar jacket had dark sporty ribs. Corset-like tops had fastenings made of plastic toggles, in one of a multitude of fashion forward touches. A black perforated corset was stiff and impenetrable.

There were many perfectly executed moments, some of which even evoked a Japanese warrior.

Chiuri was trying to say: Women have been subjugated for so long, so now we’re going to use those same clothes to empower ourselves as we move into the future.

But one question on the minds of fashion critics: Is Dior’s obsession with history perhaps a sign that it cannot move past its heritage to fully embrace a fresh fashion aesthetic?

THOUGHTS FOR UKRAINE

It’s the elephant in the room at Paris Fashion Week. As bombs fall in Europe, what is the justification for exclusive fashion collections with perfume wafting in the air? There is none. However, Paris’s fashion body has tried to address this thorny point with a statement sent to AP of solidarity with Ukraine.

Ralph Toledano, President of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, said that as “the greater fashion family gathers for Paris Fashion Week, war has brutally hit Europe and plunged the Ukrainian people into fear and upheaval.”

He suggested that the show continue as creation itself is “based on principles of freedom, under any circumstances. And fashion has always contributed to individual and collective emancipation and expression across our societies.”

The federation issued a caveat — that you “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.”

STARS TURN OUT FOR OFF-WHITE

The death of respected U.S. designer Virgil Abloh last year still casts a shadow over the Paris fashion industry. Since his passing in November there have been two fashion tributes to him at Louis Vuitton, where he was menswear designer — the first in Miami, and the second during the Paris men’s collections. On Monday evening, his personal brand Off-White showed its fall-winter show yet it seemed to be more of a celebration of him that anything else.

The posthumous show designed by him was entitled “Spaceship Earth” — and in tune with the interstellar theme the stars turned out in constellations: A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, Idris Elba and Pharrell Williams to name but a few.

The signature hoodies, urban cargo pants, utilitarian toggles, fluorescent colors and statement branding were here in droves, often in black and set against the decor of a giant chandelier.

But there were also bittersweet moments that seemed to reference the designer’s private battle with a rare form of cancer.

Handbags came out featuring the print “more life” and one replete with red and white pill capsules.

BOTTER’S UPCYCLING

Could there be a more eccentric way to begin women’s ready-to-wear than a topless male model slinging a bright blue faux fur chair on his back? Probably not.

That was thanks to former Nina Ricci designers Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the lauded menswear design duo, who are a breath of fresh air.

The designers, who grew up in the Caribbean, like to celebrate all things people jettison.

Recycled plastics found in the ocean were thus imagined here as fringing on a dress resembling an apron or as decoration on a polo shirt motif. Vivid hues that evoked the sea beds and headwear that resembled medusas continued the theme.

Upcycling was also, as ever, a big theme with strips of fabric used to fashion a rugby shirt.

SAINT LAURENT’S ART DECO

Antony Vaccarello explored the geometric universe of Art Deco on Tuesday night for a rare runway show that diverged from channeling house founder’s designs — in favor of his interior décor.

Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, was said to be devoted to the famed 1920s artistic movement that combined modern geometrics with rich materials.

And yet, the designer never much used the styles to inspire his fashion shows — seen instead in his choices for furnishing his Parisian residence.

Here, Vaccarello fixed this.

The 40-year old Belgian designer put on a Saint Laurent show doused in this shape-rich movement — seen on the runway in front of the glimmering Eiffel Tower in stacks of gold, silver and bronze bracelets, sharp V-necks or thick angular shoulders that sloped down.

Contrasts — such as a sheer panel on a fluid black dress that exposed the nipple — created a sensual tension, as did sharp yet fluid tuxedo jacket (the house signature) against a bare chest.

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Entertainment

Rosalia, Lizzo, Cardi B wrap up over the top Miami art week

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The over-the-top parties and star-studded shows surrounding Miami’s Art Basel wrapped up this weekend with performances by Rosalia, Lizzo, Cardi B and rocker Lenny Kravitz.

The annual event, which was canceled last year during the pandemic, is an extension of the prestigious art show in Switzerland. But over the years, Miami has put its own spin on the affair, which has become a magnet for celebrities. Everyone from Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Joe Jonas were spotted around town.

The highlight of the week was Louis Vuitton’s first ever U.S. fashion show Tuesday. But the lavish affair, where guests where ferried to an island by private yacht, turned into an emotional tribute after legendary 41-year-old designer Virgil Abloh died suddenly just days before the show. Kid Cudi and Erykah Badu performed at an after-party where dozens of dancing red drones blazed the skyline to write “Virgil was here.”

Fashion brand Burberry and W magazine hosted a party attended by models Karlie Kloss and Candice Swanepoel, along with Camila Coelho, A$AP Ferg, and Meadow Walker.

Rosalia gave a surprise performance Friday night to celebrate Chanel’s iconic fragrance. The French fashion house partnered with artist Es Devlin for a multisensory sculptural installation that included a forest of over 1,000 plants and trees. Before the show, Chanel hosted a private dinner attended by Pharrell Maluma, Leon Bridges, Joe Jonas and songstress sister trio HAIM.

The fashion brand’s Five Echoes installation is free and open to the public until Dec. 21.

Cardi B performed Saturday night to launch her new line of vodka infused whipped cream. The rapper sprayed Whipshots into the mouth of fans at The Goodtime Hotel. Offset, Mary J. Blige and Timbaland were among the guests. After the event, Cardi B and hubby Offset made their way to Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach for the MAXIM party where the couple danced as 112 performed its old-school hit “Peaches and Cream.” Karrueche, Austin Mahone and Taye Diggs were also in the crowd.

After hours, over 500 fans lined up around the block to get into rapper Meek Mill’s sold-out show at E11EVEN. He didn’t take the stage until 3:30 a.m. Cardi B, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nina Agdal, Karrueche, Migos and Marshmello stayed for the late-night performance.

The official Art Basel fair attracted 60,000 visitors this year, according to a statement, but thousands more attended various art shows all week. At Art Miami, a $4 million Banksy sale, a 10-year-old phenom painter and an 18 carat gold bagel avocado toast on sale for $2.9 million at Galerie Rother generated buzz.

The ultra-futuristic Paramount Miami Worldcenter even partnered with artist Mr. Glue to host a scavenger hunt for street trash transformed into valuable artworks.

And in a week where art often borders on the absurd — remember the infamous $120,000 b anana duct tape pieces — Miami’s DJ Khaled dropped “bling wings” topped with 24-karat gold dust and edible diamonds to promote his restaurant.

Swizz Beatz partnered with American Express to bring back “Women in Art,” commissioning a live installation by artist Tanda Francis at an event Saturday night. The credit card company also hosted a private performance by Lizzo at The Miami Beach Edition.

Dr. Deepak Chopra partnered with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke for an intimate morning meditation launching his Metaverse For Good platform and NFT drop. At night, Alicia Keys also led a guided meditation where mechanical flowers hanging from the ceiling opened and closed like inhales and exhales. Wearing a neon yellow gown and thigh high boots at Superblue, Miami’s experiential art center, the Grammy winner played songs from her new album dropping next week.

DiCaprio, Marc Anthony, Soleil Moon Frye and Alicia Machado helped pal Sean Penn raise $1.6 million at a fundraiser Thursday night benefiting Penn’s CORE foundation (Community Organized Relief Effort), specifically its crisis response programs across Latin America, including Haiti and Brazil.

DiCaprio also showed up to art collector Wayne Boich’s annual bash, along with Venus and Serena Williams and Latin boy band CNCO. Kravitz took the stage for a 75-minute concert. Rapper T.I. closed out the party.

Even Playboy got in on the action to promote its new lifestyle brand BIG BUNNY. Guests Cardi B, Lizzo, and Charlie XCX attended a surrealist ball, centered around the idea that pleasure is a fundamental human right. The new collection pays homage to artist Salvador Dal who was commissioned for the magazine in 1973 and 1974.

Across town, actress Eva Longoria played the role of mixologist at a party Friday night to promote her new brand Casa Del Sol tequila, pouring drinks for attendees including longtime friend Serena Williams.

Rapper Young Thug headlined an NFT party on Saturday night with Von Dutch in the hip Wynwood District.

Other celebrity spotting included Maroon Five’s Adam Levine and wife Victoria Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo sitting with friend Marc Anthony at David Grutman and Pharrell’s restaurant Swan. Rauw Alejandro and Rosalia also enjoyed a date night there.

Longtime Basel fixture Vera Wang, who wore custom grey, silk Vera dress, also dined at the restaurant with fellow fashion designer Donna Karen, and Giancarlo Stanton. Record producer and DJ Diplo visited the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science with a group of family and friends.

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Cannes Film Festival

PHOTOS: Bella Hadid Steals the Show Among 2021 Cannes Red Carpet Stunners

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Supermodel Bella Hadid brought all the glamour to the 2021 Cannes Film Festival opening night red carpet Tuesday. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

CANNES, Fr. (FNN) – Supermodel and former Victoria Secret Angel Bella Hadid dominated the media with a classic Jean Paul Gaultier dress for Cannes Film Festival’s opening night red carpet Tuesday.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Hadid’s black bodice added a gentle contrast to the more fixed white gown as she graced the red carpet for the premiere of Leox Carax’s Annette and paired the look with Chopard diamond drop earrings and a regal updo.

The showstopper, though, was the dress’s long, dramatic train in the back, made from the same diaphanous black fabric in the front and added the drama expected at Cannes.

Other stars also brought their best dramatic glamour to the red carpet.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

The event runs through July 17, which gives Hadid plenty more red carpet miles before closing night.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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Business

Get to Know Liz Sheppard, the “Heart of Winter Park”

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Liz Sheppard walks the runway at a recent fashion show. Photo courtesy of Liz Sheppard.

WINTER PARK, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – If you’ve ever been on Park Avenue in beautiful downtown Winter Park, Florida, you’ve probably seen Bebe’s & Liz’s, two distinctive retail stores–one specializing in affordable high end women’s designer fashions and directly next door a store tailored to parents that desire the most cutting edge clothing for young people.

What you probably don’t know, however, is proprietor Liz Sheppard has been in business on Park Avenue for some 38 years–that’s right, 38 years in specialty retail. Though most small businesses fail after 1-5 years, Liz has withstood ups and downs with the economy and pretty much everything in between. Better yet, she doesn’t just own it, she works in the business, dressing everyone from beauty queens to children. I caught up with Liz before she headed to New York Fashion Week. Her story is inspirational and impressive.

Jacqueline Siegel, The Queen of Versailles. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Siegel.

Jacqueline Siegel, The Queen of Versailles. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Siegel.

Sheppard has many longtime friends that admire her success and loyalty to our community, including Jacqueline Siegel (above), wife of timeshare mogul David Siegel and most notably known as “The Queen of Versailles.” A longtime customer of both stores, Jacqueline Siegel recently shared, “I am a huge fan of women who mean business and Liz Sheppard is one of those women. I first met Liz while visiting her store with amazing kids fashions. For years we dressed our children with amazing one-of-a-kind clothes from Liz’s store.” Siegel added, “From there I worked with Liz on my own personal fashion choices, eventually having her work with our Mrs. Florida America and Beautiful People Productions with designer evening and cocktail wear. Congratulations on 38 years in business, Liz. You’re a gem in our community.”

Sharie Eldridge Shy. Photo courtesy of Sharie Eldridge Shy's Facebook page.

Sharie Eldridge Shy. Photo courtesy of Sharie Eldridge Shy’s Facebook page.

It wasn’t difficult to identify satisfied customers and friends of Liz’s. “I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Liz when I first moved to the area years ago. I stopped in her shop to find an outfit and walked out with a friend as well,” said Sharie Eldrige Shy. “It’s often said we can attract what we need if only we’re available. In my experience with Liz, that is so true. It was a season of loss for me and I needed hugs and she gladly gave them.

Shy continued, “Her store is as much about heart as it is fashion. That’s part of what makes her so extraordinary and so successful for decades. Liz handpicks her clothes and each item is a accessory to a life memory. She’s the epitome of class and beautiful strength. So very happy to call her my dear friend. She truly is MRS. WINTER PARK FLORIDA!”

Brett Shulman, a friend and fan of Liz's, often stops by her Park Avenue with his St. Bernard to say hello.

Brett Shulman, a friend and fan of Liz’s, often stops by her Park Avenue with his St. Bernard to say hello.

A scan of Liz’s social media photos often finds her with a huge St. Bernard owned by another admirer, Brett Schulman (above). “Liz Sheppard is one of the most incredible hard working women I have ever met. She is so loving and would literally give you the shirt off her back. I just can’t say enough nice things about her.”

In speaking with other notable figures in Winter Park, the consensus is that Liz truly is an icon in the community. Other women in business look up to her for inspiration and guidance.

Shirley Stamper (left) and Liz Sheppard, photo courtesy of Liz Sheppard's facebook page.

Shirley Stamper (left) and Liz Sheppard, photo courtesy of Liz Sheppard’s facebook page.

Shirley Stamper, a local legend and small business owner herself, had this to say, “Liz is a VERY hard working woman and does great things to raise the brand of Winter Park. I know, at times, she wishes she had more support from the City and Chamber proper…but I love her. Her stamina and relentless pursuit of providing her customers excellent service is bar none. She’s a great role model for other women looking to create a business and make it work.”

Liz Sheppard (right) with Burma Posey, Miss Georgia 1968. Photo courtesy Liz Sheppard's Facebook page.

Liz Sheppard (right) with Burma Posey, Miss Georgia 1968. Photo courtesy Liz Sheppard’s Facebook page.

Written Statement by Burma Posey, Miss Georgia 1968 and Pageant Judge

“Liz Sheppard is truly a remarkable woman. She has been an asset to the City of Winter Park and Central Florida for almost 40 years. Her shop on Park Avenue is a treat that families look forward to visiting every time we go shopping on that magical street. Her windows are always precious displays of children’s beautiful clothing and now there are unusual and gorgeous ladies’ clothing and accessories as well. Her extraordinary glamorous fashion shows are events that everyone looks forward to in Central Florida!

 

“But the most wonderful part about Liz is her heart. She truly cares about her customers and all people. She is constantly doing things to help them not only be beautiful, but to be successful and happy as well. She constantly opens her gorgeous home to host special events for individuals and organizations. I was so touched to be the Guest of Honor at one of her special events and Liz managed to make me feel like one of the most special people in the entire world. She does that for everyone!

 

“Liz has a great faith in God. She has had many honors in her lifetime. But she has had tragedy as well. She lost both children and the most difficult thing a person can experience on this Earth [is] the loss of a child. But Liz has taken both the good and the sad and turned everything into ways to serve others. She genuinely wants to help people be the best they can be and I’m simply grateful that she chose Winter Park to be her home.”

– Burma Posey, Miss Georgia 1968

 

Jim Veigle President, Veigle Properties. Photo courtesy of Jim Veigle's Facebook page.

Jim Veigle President, Veigle Properties. Photo courtesy of Jim Veigle’s Facebook page.

Another Winter Park legend, Jim Veigle, had this to say, “Liz has been the Heart of Winter Park for over 38 years. Her love for this City has been her life as long as I can remember. I have always had fond memories of her and her awesome stores. Liz gives kindness to all. Love Liz and her family.”

If you think about her history…38 years in business, in the beginning it was a much different time. Women were literally coming out of their homes and starting to create businesses that transcended traditional roles and responsibilities. Congratulations Liz Sheppard on 38 years. Your class, business acumen and love of the community is appreciated and noticed by all.

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Randy Ross is a political contributor Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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