For every fabulous look at Paris Fashion Week – a style tsunami of both autumn/winter and spring/summer 2019 shows – there were some equally questionable ones.
Even for women with stylists, taste and money. And top designers on speed dial.
Let’s start with model Gigi Hadid, who pulled off the nigh impossible – looking bad – in a bedazzled print mini with giant gaffer-tape straps front and back, worn with sheer socks and a shoe suitable for rugged terrain orienteering.
Salma Hayek is a Hollywood star who is married to Francois-Henri Pinault, the billionaire CEO of a retail conglomerate that includes Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen. She hit the front row of the St Laurent show in an outfit inspired by an Argentinian cowboy or the daggy chick on the original Beverly Hills 90210.
As a self-styled fashion authority and influencer, former reality TV star Olivia Palermo knows her way around a fashion week. Which is why her smorgasbord of outfits in Paris was extraordinary.
Palermo hit the French capital’s streets in everything ranging from a 19th century governess’ outfit (a swamping black coat with stern flats) to politely torn jeans with elaborate satin bomber jacket.
On February 27, she strode out to the Lanvin show in a black leather culotte with puffer jacket. I know.
She threw everything at her look for the Alexandre Birman presentation: Sequins, the leather culotte again and a jacket that looked like a used bath mat from a 1960s bathroom.
Sticking with the tricky culotte shape, Palermo went for a fussy white blouse and dusty pink coat, which was quite cool, but didn’t stop her looking weirdly like Witchiepoo from 1970s show HR Pufnstuf.
Karlie Kloss went to the Off White show on February 28 looking like an off-duty Cirque du Soleil acrobat.
Bella Hadid looked almost as grim as the Stephen King novel she was toting, the human version of a Moscow apartment block.
Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley headed to Balmain in a paper bag top and distressed denim jean bound to make 1980s boy band Bros jealous as.
Janelle Monae slipped into Valentino on March 3 in her usual head-turning style in a trapeze dress with beret, plaits and knee-length socks.
On the same day, the singer and actress stepped out for Thom Browne in her always-original take on suiting up.
Newlywed model Hailey Baldwin left husband Justin Bieber at home and took to the town in a Balenciaga mini trench coat and evening heels.
Naomi Campbell was imperious and hard to walk past in a blue winged silk gown. Great pageboy hair.
In cool striped velvet jacket and black jean, Amber Valletta looked like a Vanessa Paradis acolyte, or someone wanting to impress at a parent-teacher meeting.
Australian model Abbey Lee Kershaw (at St Laurent) was one front-rower who kept up the sheer black stocking trend. Hers were worn with a masculine tweed jacket, miniskirt and the best half-up hair for decades.
Spanish ‘cultural tastemaker’ Sita Abellan was amazing fronting to Valentino in a ruffled floor flamenco-style gown and ‘S’ earrings.
Kate Moss went classic: Cigarette leg pant, ladylike pump, silk shirt and jacket. Why fix it when it ain’t broke? Like Victoria Beckham, she always keeps her look clean. Unlike Victoria, she always looks sexy.
Speaking of which, Jennifer Lawrence went for a nipped-in mini with 1950s overtones and ankle strap pointed shoes for St Laurent.
Cara Delevingne was Lawrence’s seat mate but seemed to be in a different weather zone. Her salmon sunray pleat dress and nude shoe were elegance itself.
Danish stylist Pernille Teisbaek wore Balenciaga shoes and Valentino statement belt with her bootcut pantsuit at Valentino.
Three people showed up to Valentino in almost the same look: Zut alors! First, Jeanne Damas.
Then Katherine Langford twinned.
And Palermo (with husband Johannes Huebl) completed the trifecta.
German lifestyle blogger Xenia Adonts showed her 1.3 million followers how to work the modern cowboy boot, slouchy leather pant and knit.