Celebrities? So last season, say Paris fashionistas

Mon Mar 8, 2010 3:53pm EST
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By Sophie Hardach and Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters) - Maybe it's the effect of recession, maybe it's simply a case of Hollywood fatigue -- whatever the reason, buyers and designers at Paris fashion week are declaring the end of the celebrity cult.

Backstage at the shows, the talk was not of glitzy muses such as actress Lindsay Lohan, but of classic accessories, inspiration from the archives and long-lasting pieces to tempt choosy shoppers amid a slight recovery in spending.

"I think we're moving away from (the star factor), it's more about the product rather than celebrity endorsement," said Sebastian Manes, director of accessories at Selfridges & Co. "I think it was very true for beginning of the century, but now we're going for values."

Pop stars and actors still filled the front rows at Stella McCartney Monday, but the spotlight was on mannish blazers and soft knits that normal women might actually like to wear.

"McCartney was the 'wow' of Paris for me," Stephanie Solomon, fashion director at Bloomingdale's, told Reuters. "She pared it down to what she does best."

Quilted jackets and waistcoats, striped bumble bee A-line dresses and open-backed orange or fuchsia evening dresses with henna-tattoo lace detail played to McCartney's strengths.

"This collection is a response to moving on, moving upwards, and, you know, really addressing what women are going to need in the future to make them feel better about themselves," McCartney said after the show.


<p>Spanish designer Estrella Archs (L) appears with Actress Lindsay Lohan at the end of her Spring/Summer 2010 collection for Emanuel Ungaro house during Paris Fashion Week October 4, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen</p>