Originally created 03/12/98

Stella by Starlight and McQueen on the scene at Givenchy

PARIS -- Stella McCartney brought out babes, "boys" and plenty of bosoms Wednesday in her second show for Chloe, from lingerie-like disco styles to tailored trouser suits to naughty necklines.

For the disco-queen gals, McCartney created light, summery wear like embroidered slip dresses in satin or chiffon blends, terribly tight and clinging, skirts below knee.

Her program cited global warming as a reason for a collection that looks more summery than wintery. And divas or dazzling creatures that women want to appear as at night are another facet of her generation.

"Sexy without aggression," she says.

The lingerie-wearing disco babes got on well with the opposite side of the coin, the day-wear girls such as McCartney, in the tailored suit she wore to take her bow at the end of the show.

The trouser suits McCartney turned out with help from her Savile Row friends were the strongest aspect of the show. Dark gray or Nile green, they had superb tailoring and flashes of satin linings -- peach for the light green suit, shocking pink for the deep gray.

Lots of bosoms were falling out of dresses -- ones with velvet-print decolletes or slinky diagonally-printed dresses worn with satin stiletto boots.

See-through blouses and lovely embroidered laces under masculine suits got the line together, in a way, for today's confused opinion -- workplace woman or sexpot queen? Stella has not made up her mind, but showed the contrasts well.

This show was in a tent in the Trocadero gardens, not the grandeur of the Garnier Opera like last time. But Mum and Pop, Linda and Paul, the former Beatle, applauded their 25-year-old daughter, who dedicated the collection "to my Mum, consistent to my philosophy of 'mix and match."'

At Givenchy, Alexander McQueen gave his latest British take for the famous old house, showing near the heliport of Paris.

The premiere guest, "Titanic" star Kate Winslet, sat next to Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), the owner of Givenchy.

Could she have found something to wear for the upcoming Oscars? McQueen zoomed in on the 1940s -- not quite a "Titanic" era -- and some quite sexy sheaths that looked wearable by stars.

Again, Savile training looked best for ordinary mortals.

McQueen's trouser suits were impeccable, sharp jackets, especially a charcoal double-breasted one, a few versions with printed photographs on them and versions in caramel brocades.

Some trouser suits came out with cropped pants, as in an iridescent red-black suit, worn with the coiffure of the day -- a 1940s slick pompadour style.

Other forties influences include the fluffy marabout jackets in blazing blue topping cropped silk pants with high-heeled shoes.

And then the too-tight dresses in leather -- combinations of gray jersey and deep red or bright blues, made a striking note. One superb decollete sheath in royal blue leather with eyelet at its knee-length hem could be a big winner.

Other notables included a gold metallic-net sheath with its raised collar suggesting the Chinese Suzie Wong line McQueen showed in his latest Givenchy haute couture line.


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