Less can be more, but for the world’s most stylish extravagance reigns supreme…at least for the close of Paris Fashion Week. There were statement looks aplenty on the front row and the best were directional, irreverent, and embellished to the nth degree. Jennifer Connelly, who almost always makes Nicolas Ghesquiere’s haute futurism seem effortless, wore a corseted jacket with draping and embroidery for the His spring/summer show for Louis Vuitton held at the Louvre. This was a museum-worthy piece, in every sense, worn with finesse. At Thom Browne’s spring/summer outing, Cardi B went for old school cinematic glamour in a sculpted suit that exaggerated her famous curves. The sexy surrealism of the head-to-toe look—padded hips, cinched waist, faux spectacles—was a perfect match for a performer with a wicked comedic sense.
A somewhat bombastic approach to glamour also infused the most winning looks on the week’s other red carpets. At the Zurich Film Festival, Cate Blanchett chose Jean Paul Gaultier’s psychedelic take on polka dots complete with cape sleeves and gold discs built into the bodice. For her Naked Heart Fabulous Fund Fair in London Natalia Vodianova wore the supermodel version of cosplay in a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown, pointy elf ears and major gems by Chopard. By the time the night ended, she’d ditched the jewelry and FX makeup; Vodianova wore the spectacular dress with its layers of ruffles into the wee hours.