Kate Mara and Jamie Bell hit star-filled H&M Paris show

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Posted: Mar 02, 2016 6:48 PM
Kate Mara and Jamie Bell hit star-filled H&M Paris show

PARIS (AP) — Celebrity couple Kate Mara and Jamie Bell hit Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday at the star-studded H&M catwalk show, alongside attendees actress Emma Roberts and singer Ciara.

Fashion-wise, the first major day of ready-to-wear shows saw spectators thrust from the 60s futurism of Courreges to the eclectic styles of John Galliano — as Belgian master Dries Van Noten got indulgent. Here are the highlights of the fall-winter 2016 collections:

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COURREGES TOWS THE LINE

It was the sophomore outing for the revamped house of Andre Courreges — the influential French designer who gained global fame in the 1960s for his streamlined aesthetic and futurism.

As with any revival, the new designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant face a big challenge and must make the 55-year-old brand relevant for today's buyers while not losing sight of the original codes.

Sure enough, sportswear and utilitarianism provided the contemporary feel throughout Wednesday's collection — in sneakers with big white laces, sporty stripe detailing, skin-tight body suits as well as big winter coats with studs, zippers and large pockets.

But the Courreges DNA pieces abounded in the mix, effortlessly.

Black and white 60s check featured on an on-trend menswear coat with large proportions, and the Courreges style of playing with then-cutting edge technologies was also seen in quilted sheen sections of fabric.

Perhaps Courreges' biggest claim to fame was (co-)inventing the miniskirt.

But the nod to this in what was a youthful-feeling collection was far from nostalgic. Miniskirt designs hit the runway in fresh, myriad styles — sheens, PVC, blocks of color, and even in suede.

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H&M ATTRACTS THE STARS

In a Balmain for H&M dark tuxedo jacket, Mara chicly rocked the front row for the high-street label's boho and 70-infused fall-winter show, held inside the ornate former Parisian stock exchange.

"In general, I would say I'm a mix between masculine and feminine," she told The Associated Press beside the large blossoming tree-decor used for the show.

The 33-year-old actress acknowledged that the stylish look, with complemented her new pixie-style haircut, was a contrast to how she prefers to dress normally.

"I like to dress on a daily basis very casually and I don't usually wear heels or anything like that. I'm usually in some sort of hoodie and jeans... It depends on what movie I'm making, as that kind of changes my mind set on how I want to feel."

The "Fantastic Four" star said she was taking a break from movies for now.

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GALLIANO'S MAISON MARGIELA FLAIR

The back-in-favor John Galliano showcased his latest collection for Maison Margiela, the house that transformed quirkiness into a global mission statement. Galliano's divergent and unpredictable styles, contrasting fabrics and colors, and East-meets-West aesthetics featured on the runway — as they have in previous seasons.

Call it the expected-unexpected. But what lifts the fashion musing, time after time, is Galliano's painterly flair. A stiff, silk foulard was worn diagonally round the neck with ruffles that evoked a fleeting brushstroke. Kimono sleeves and check were set of with a razor-cut Asian-looking bob wig. And a conventional-enough '80s tuxedo power jacket with large lapels in green spawned unexpected giant organic sleeves.

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DRIES VAN NOTEN INDULGES

Belgian "intellectual" designer, and one of the famed "Antwerp Six," Van Noten showcased a brooding and indulgently rich show, floodlit with romantic beam lighting Wednesday.

Plush velvet leopard print pants opened the collection alongside a faux leopard fur cape coat — with an embellished choker scarf defining the aesthetic. And richness continued in the thick decadent layering, oversized baggy pants and coats, and in the use of sumptuous fabrics — silk jacquards, (faux-)fur, club jacket wools, as well as hand-knit pure cashmere.

Slicked back androgynous hair ticked Van Noten's sexual fluidity box (as did a menswear double-breasted jacket) that the program notes nicely described as "fused gender."

As is common with Van Noten, long loose coats and oversize sweaters ensured that bodies of the models were practically invisible behind the clothes. It came as a nice contrast in body-beautiful Paris ready-to-wear from the talented designer who follows his own rules.

Ninety-four-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel — famed for her unconventional styles — applauded from the front row.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP