Bow-neck blouses aren't strictly for women anymore.
Couture clothing designer Saint Laurent presented the feminine style — in silk, leather and sequins — for both genders at its rock 'n' roll-inspired runway show Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The French fashion house turned the historic Hollywood Palladium into a circular catwalk to showcase its fall-winter collection for men and women, a set of sumptuous pieces in velvet, leather and fur with plenty of fringe, sequins and sparkle. The show's A-list front row was just as attention-getting, with such guests as Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Bieber, Jane Fonda, Sylvester Stallone, Ellen DeGeneres, Lee Daniels, Zac Efron, Demi Moore, Sam Smith and Gary Oldman.
Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane entertained his starry audience with a series of flamboyant, stage-ready looks. Slimane described the collection as a return to "signature style pieces and principles" characterized by an androgynous approach to menswear.
That meant super-skinny pants, sequined motorcycle jackets, fringe-covered coats and a cape reminiscent of a circus ringleader's. The looks were at once whimsical and sophisticated, like a slim-fit tuxedo bedazzled with a galaxy of cosmic designs or a velvet blazer embellished with intricate floral beading and embroidery. Another standout was a velvet bomber jacket splashed with hand-beaded lilies.
Most wearable seemed to be the slim-fit, three-piece suits. A tapestry-printed coat flocked with fringe, a gold mink coat or a shiny, python-printed blazer might be harder to pull off.
The bow-neck blouses were featured over and over for men, as were metallic gold boots. Other themes of the men's collection were military details, including a jacket covered in gold buttons that could have come from Michael Jackson's closet, and classic elements from 1880s West like fringe, caped coats and fedoras.
The women's designs were even more flamboyant, yet somehow more wearable. Texture and shine were the main themes, with wide belts and cinched waists a recurring subplot.
Dresses were long-sleeved and high-necked with swingy skirts, some so embroidered and embellished they looked like filigreed jewelry. One show-stopper was a swirl of glimmering sequins with long sleeves trimmed in oversized puffs of pastel marabou. A floaty green confection had a matching marabou neckline.
There were bow blouses here, too, in a range of fabrics, including some that looked like vinyl. Skirts were cut from fur or covered with sequins and paillettes. There were leather culottes and sequined blazers; jackets in velvet or leather trimmed with beads and fur. Shimmer reigned throughout.
"I love Hedi so much and I think he's done a fantastic job here," Lady Gaga said from her front-row seat. "He's just been a huge inspiration to so many artists all over the world for such a long time and I just always love to come see what he's doing."
Slimane said the Palladium show featured 93 looks worn by 71 models, several of whom are musicians.
While the designer received his friends and celebrity guests backstage, the Palladium floor turned into a festive after-party and concert with a flurry of performers, including front-row guests Beck and Joan Jett.