Saldana was getting back on the fashion show wheel after working nonstop. It was a “mind shift,” she said.
She’s riding high on “Avatar: The Way of Water,” not only because of the global box office success but because it has touched people. “The older I get, the more savvy I become and I’m a sucker for good stories that large masses of people can relate to,” she said. She’s back to shoot some additional scenes for the next installment soon, but just wrapped “Lioness” with Nicole Kidman and is set to shoot a new film with Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard.
Billed as a musical crime caper, it costars Selena Gomez and Edgar Ramirez, and means moving to Paris for the next few months. “I am going back to my roots of musical theater and dancing and singing. I haven’t done that since I started acting in Hollywood, so it feels really fresh,” she said.
And she sang the praises of the city. “The quality of life here is so optimal that even if you have a bad day at work you go out and have a baguette and cheese and wine and you’re good to go,” she said.
Chilly temperatures were no match for “Red Sonja” star Matilda Lutz, who is a front row regular at Chanel, with three shows under her double CC belt. She sported high-waist jeans, a midriff-bearing tank with a cardigan thrown casually off the shoulders for what she called “very improvised [with] a rock ‘n’ roll, modern touch.”
It showed off her very toned arms, a result of her training in archery, climbing, horseback riding, climbing and sword fighting for the role. She had to eat 3,000 calories a day to build up muscle mass for all the stunts in the superhero film.
“When they gave me the sword the first time I had no idea how to move, I was just swinging it around like, ‘Oh my god, I’m not going to be able to do this.’ And then little by little, the more you practice, it just comes natural, which is weird in a way,” she joked.
One scene has her shooting arrows while riding on horseback, galloping out of a forest uphill, she said. “It’s really intense but one of the best experiences of my life. I had so much adrenaline from doing the whole training that even if I slept only six hours, and I just didn’t feel tired, I was just so excited to do it.”
She also wrapped the psychological thriller “Magpie” with Daisy Ridley last week and is taking a break.
Penelope Cruz reminisced about last year’s Oscar dress, when she and her husband Javier Bardem received his-and-her best acting nominations.
“That’s like, a maybe once in a lifetime moment, and they made an incredible dress for me,” she said. She’s been with the house since 1999, and through a lot of special moments. “We’ve been through emotional moments together, we share those moments.”
An upcoming moment will be the premiere of “Ferrari,” costarring Adam Driver and directed by Michael Mann, but Cruz has no idea when that might happen, she joked.
“He’s really one of the masters and I haven’t seen one shot of the film. I haven’t seen anything! He wouldn’t even let us see the monitor. I loved the experience of working with Adam, but now I can’t wait to see the movie. I don’t even know if it’s finished,” she said. “I’m very, very curious too.”
Tommy Dorfman, hitting her only show this week at Chanel, just finished directing her first film, titled “I Wish You All the Best,” starring Alexandra Daddario, Cole Sprouse and Lexi Underwood. She wrote the script during the quiet time of the pandemic and produced it herself to get to screen.
Stepping behind the camera has been a totally different experience for the “13 Reasons Why” actress and infused her with a new sense of confidence.
“It was so relaxing for me, honestly, because a lot of my anxiety about this industry stems from the outside, not the inside, and how I’m appearing and how I look. I think just being trans in general, there’s always an expectation of performing some type of femininity. And for me, going behind the camera allowed me to just relax and be authentic to exactly who I am,” she said. “I feel more confident showing up in the world in a more grounded version of myself.”
Park Seo-joon, South Korean star of the upcoming “The Marvels” movie, was soothing his nerves. He gets “really stressed” at big events, but seeing something beautiful like a fashion show “makes me feel more energized and more comfortable,” he said, speaking through a translator.
The show cast a spell, as models walked in a pitch-black room around a glowing white camellia which gradually turned pink to oohs and aahs from the crowd.
Jeremy O’Harris likened the whole thing to “real theater” — even at just 15 minutes long.
Japanese actress Nana Komatsu’s face was projected on the flower, all mysterious. After the show the actress summed up the entire experience. “I was just thinking, ‘Oh my god, what is happening, is this really real?’ It was overwhelming to see myself and simply, so, so surreal.” — RHONDA RICHFORD
Proud Parents: When the very bright lights went up at Miu Miu, Gabrielle Union kept her shades on.
It wasn’t just the fluorescent glare, but protecting a moment of parental pride as daughter Zaya walked in the show.
“I’m trying not to cry, hence the glasses. Normally I don’t wear glasses during a show, but today I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it together. No one needs to document my ugly cry,” she joked. Sitting side-by-side, husband Dwyane Wade kept his on, too.
The pair gave a passionate speech about Black trans acceptance at last week’s NAACP awards. “It feels good,” she said of the positive reception.
“I think being able to speak your piece as often as you can is liberating, but also you’re providing community where folks don’t feel like there is [any]. I do feel like at this point in our careers, it is our job and we take that job with pride and show others it’s not hard to get out there.”
She kept the cat-eye black glasses — Miu Miu of course — on during the epic 65-look show, opened by Mia Goth and closed by Emma Corrin. Kylie Minogue slipped into her seat at the last minute, next to Angela Lindvall and Dianna Agron, while Jessica Alba was perched a few spots down.
Jasmin Savoy was still piping hot fresh out of the airplane from last night’s “Scream” premiere in New York City.
“I literally changed in the car on the way to the airport,” she said. “Got straight off the plane two hours ago and somehow made it here on time.”
She worked with stylist Amanda Lim on the peach midriff-bearing bra and skirt combo, taking a break from the all-black looks she’s been wearing lately. She called it “amused elegance.”
Diane Kruger has been spending time in France recently, with fiancé Norman Reedus and their young child, for Pablo Aguero’s next film, costarring Louis Garrel and Vincent Cassel. The as yet untitled movie tells the story of Saint-Exupéry.
The trilingual actress lived in Paris for years early in her career, and is eager to work on French films again. “I really want to work here again, and we’re here as a family for a year. So it’s amazing to be home and working.”
She wore a sparkly see-through dress with a white bralette underneath. “It’s super cool,” she said of the sheer trend, though her loose, flapper shift covered more than others. “Although I’m looking at some of these girls, and I’m like, ‘How the hell did they walk in here?” she joked.
Much of the show was an equally nearly naked affair, with models walking in sheer dresses and not much else, briefs with belts topped with fuzzy faux-fur coats, or simply pantless in tights, heels and some messy bedhead. — R.R.
LUCKY STAR: Avril Lavigne and Tyga appeared at Mugler’s party in Paris together on Monday night, near midnight. They were followed by Jared Leto not long after.
The three were among hundreds of guests — who also included Georgia May Jagger and Soo Joo Park — assembled in the Left Bank venue near Pavillon des Invalides to celebrate Hunter Schafer as the new face of Mugler’s iconic scent Angel.
Schafer, wearing a black, studded Mugler catsuit, gushed about shooting the Angel Elixir campaign.
“I had never done these sort of trapeze stunts before. So it was a really fun opportunity — you had to learn how to work on being lifted in the air,” she said. “It was really special.”
After Schafer signed on to front the perfume, which comes in a star-shaped bottle, she learned that many people in her life have been wearing Angel for three decades, unbeknownst to her.
“I’m understanding the impact that this fragrance has had over a long time,” said Schafer, who has acted in a few movies coming out in the next year or so, including the prequel to “The Hunger Games” and “Cuckoo.” She will have a cameo in an upcoming Yorgos Lanthimos film, as well.
Schafer had been in the sights of Casey Cadwallader, Mugler’s artistic director.
“I’ve always adored Hunter,” he said. Cadwallader invited Schafer to Mugler’s show, but she couldn’t make it.
“Hunter saw it when she landed and said: ‘I still want to meet you,’” Cadwallader continued.
“So she came to my office, we had a chat and it was really lovely,” he explained, adding he next saw Schafer at a pool on a New Year’s Day. “I had the guts to DM her and say: ‘Hey, would you like to open the first Mugler show video?’ That’s the time we dumped the water on her head.
“She’s just the kind of person that you want to be around all the time,” the designer said. “She is so kind, so easygoing and just full of energy.”
He wanted Schafer to front Angel for three years, but Elixir’s launch marked the brand’s reboot under the ownership of L’Oréal, whose chief executive officer, Nicolas Hieronimus, was at the party. “And that was like, ‘This is the time,’” Cadwallader said. “It just worked out. It turned her into a stuntwoman,” he added with a laugh. “She did it all herself, it was so impressive. Hunter was like: ‘OK, let’s do it again.’ She is very impressive — that’s a very Mugler girl.”
After Angel’s 30th anniversary last year, Mugler, the brand, will turn 50 in 18 months.
“Those are the only anniversaries that I’ve been talking about,” Cadwallader said. “My birthday, I don’t really look forward to as an anniversary.”
Other revelers at the party included Danièle Lahana, global president of Mugler fashion and fragrance, and Mert Alas.
Held at the Pavillon des Invalides, bathed in blue to match the Angel Elixir bottle, one room had dancing strobe lights and also wooed guests with music mixed by DJs Jeune Pouce, Broodoo, Lukas Heerich and Bobby Bethoven. — JENNIFER WEIL
BIRTHDAY BASH: Bubbly flowed prior to the sit-down birthday dinner on Sunday night to celebrate the fifth anniversary of skin care brand Augustinus Bader.
Guests in attendance at Caviar Kaspia in Paris included Ivy Getty, Giambattista Valli, Haider Ackermann, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
Charles Rosier, chief executive officer of Augustinus Bader, said: “Ours has been really a story of organic growth and benefiting from the support of different communities — journalists being one, skin care experts being another one, and word-of-mouth.”
He added many people don’t believe the brand is just five years old. That’s because Augustinus Bader has already attained cult status.
“They feel that we are an established brand that has been around for a decade or more,” said Rosier.
Augustinus Bader has notched up constant growth, despite the rollercoaster ride due to the coronavirus health crisis.
“Nearly half of our life has been through the pandemic,” said Rosier. “It’s been a journey where we feel privileged to have been able to grow like that, to keep benefiting from the support of people.
“We have still a lot of exciting things to announce, even this year,” he added, keeping mum on details. “We have exciting collaborations and moments that are coming and that will reinforce all the aspects of the brand and its DNA.” – J.W.
Brand Building: Gordon Brothers, which has been evolving its business model to increase investments in brands, has promoted Carolyn D’Angelo to senior managing director, brand operations.
D’Angelo continues to serve as president of Laura Ashley and oversee Nicole Miller. She joined Gordon Brothers in May 2021 after serving as president of the home division of Marquee Brands. She has 30 years of experience in marketing, licensing, branding and merchandising in the home and fashion industries.
“Under Carolyn’s exceptional leadership, we have teams of dedicated individuals managing our brands that are backed by Gordon Brothers’ comprehensive suite of services,” Tobias Nanda, head of brands at Gordon Brothers, said in a statement. “Laura Ashley and Nicole Miller have achieved milestone growth in the U.S. and internationally, and the brands have not only reconnected with their base, but they’ve also reached new consumers.”
“Our firm has the…ability to acquire, value, lend to and invest in brands to accelerate their transformation and support continued growth,” said D’Angelo in her statement. “We can streamline operations and create teams with dedicated resources to restructure and reimagine some of the world’s most iconic brands by optimizing the product offering, strengthening and expanding franchisees, and investing in marketing to grow e-commerce channels.”
D’Angelo is based in New York, whereas Gordon Brothers is based in Boston, and has 30 offices on five continents. Over the course of her career, D’Angelo has implemented innovative strategies for national consumer brands.
Gordon Brothers has been investing in, repositioning, growing and supporting brands since 2003. The strategy puts a priority on licensees and franchisees to bolster e-commerce and develop wholesale and retail relationships. In addition to purchasing Laura Ashley and Nicole Miller, Gordon Brothers has provided Everlane Inc. with a $25 million term loan, and Moda Operandi with a $13 million term loan.
Gordon Brothers is also involved in valuations, dispositions, financing and investment in various sectors. The firm conducts more than $100 billion worth of dispositions and appraisals annually and provides both short- and long-term capital to clients undergoing transformation. — DAVID MOIN
Take Two: Versace is working with Chinese singer and actress Chris Lee to bring back a controversial T-shirt design that marked Hong Kong and Macau as separate entities from China and triggered an online outrage more than three years ago.
But this time, the design comes with a China-friendly message.
According to Versace, Lee proposed the collaboration for the new sweatshirt design in the same style as the controversial T-shirt, which features the brand’s store locations worldwide, but this time with Hong Kong and Macau listed as Chinese cities.
Lee will be sporting the hoodie as a part of her airport look en route to the Italian luxury label’s Los Angeles show on Friday. The sweatshirt, which comes in two styles, both in black and white, will be released at a later date.
It is understood that Lee’s contract with Gucci, which started in 2016, is coming to an end.
In 2019, Chinese netizens discovered the controversial T-shirt and began to condemn the brand, alleging the shirt damaged China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
As the image of the T-shirt began to circulate on Chinese social media, top Chinese actress Yang Mi decided to terminate her contract with the brand, only two months after signing on as Versace’s first Chinese ambassador.
Similar issues occurred at Coach and Givenchy, in which T-shirt designs listed Hong Kong and Taipei as separate locations from China, which gave off the impression that the cities were independent countries.
Jackson Yee, who was Givenchy Beauty’s spokesperson for China at the time, announced on Weibo that he had also terminated the partnership.
Versace, Coach and Givenchy all issued formal apologies on Chinese social media for the labeling and reiterated their respect for Chinese sovereignty. — DENNI HU
“Barbara’s impressive accomplishments and strong leadership will serve our membership well as we continue to advance our industry’s determination for a more beautiful and sustainable world. I look forward to working more closely with her as we continue to strengthen our commitment to our members and our consumers,” said Lezlee Westine, PCPC president and chief executive officer, in a statement.
Menarguez has been with Chanel for more than 25 years, and has served in her current role overseeing the brand’s beauty and fragrance marketing, education and sales planning since 2017.
“PCPC is the voice for the industry whose products touch the lives of nearly every American household each day,” said Menarguez. “I’m honored to help lead PCPC as we continue to educate policy makers, legislators, regulators, the media and most importantly, our consumers about our innovative industry and our commitment to sound science.”
PCPC has also elected four new vice chairs, including Esi Eggleston Bracey, president of Unilever USA and chief executive officer of Unilever personal care, North America; David Greenberg, CEO of L’Oréal USA and president of L’Oréal North America; Chris Heiert, senior vice president of the specialty beauty group, Procter & Gamble, and Mark Loomis, president, North America, The Estée Lauder Companies.
Maria Kertész, president of U.S. skin health and beauty at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is now secretary, and Deborah Gibbins, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Mary Kay, is now treasurer. — NOOR LOBAD
PHOTO OP: Marco Ribeiro teased his fall 2023 collection in photos hanging in a gallery in Paris’ Marais district on Friday evening.
The quirky images, with saturated colors and some gravity-defying hair, were captivating and mysterious. One showed two people sitting side-by-side on chairs on a Paris street. Here, there’s multilayered fashion, with a look including a brown floral shirt worn over a tea green shirt, paired with brown trousers.
A live model sitting in the gallery was wearing the same outfit.
Ribeiro said the collection this season is about enjoying the present and not taking one’s self too seriously.
“That’s why we have this sculptural hair, this idea of going away from what is real,” he explained.
Reality and fantasy blend together in a joyful vibe.
“It’s quite important for me to work with colors,” Ribeiro said. “It is how I express emotions and feelings.”
A second model, standing in the gallery, was wrapped with black tinsel, allowing Ribeiro to experiment with shapes. That particular look nodded to the designer’s nostalgia for Christmas preparations as a child.
In another photo, models hold brightly hued circles of fabric, in the likes of orange, citrus yellow and tulip red.
“A circle means quite a lot for me,” Ribeiro continued. “You have no clear beginning or ending. The shape is very inviting.” — J.W.