With the City of Light quilted in snow, planes were grounded, taxis were nowhere to be seen and the Eurostar had major disruptions. But Donatella Versace still managed to pull an A-list crowd as she kicked off Paris Haute Couture Week, unveiling her new Atelier Versace collection to quite the starry front row that even included royalty in the form of Princess Charlene of Monaco. Sporting an unusual black and silver sequin panel shift dress, the statuesque blonde, who is often spotted picking up outfit ideas at Haute Couture Week, looked lovely as she cast a discerning eye over Versace's new wares.
She was joined by Hollywood A-lister Olivia Munn, who had opted for a less demure ensemble in a tight-fitting, sleeveless black dress. The two ladies chatted as they took in the show at Le Centorial – a glass, iron and steel domed building in the heart of Paris. And the celebrity guests didn't end there, with singer Ne-Yo looking as dapper as usual in a cobalt and black suit as he took his front row seat in between Olivia and Australian actress Melissa George. Wearing her trademark red lipstick, Melissa had wrapped up warm to make her icy outing in Paris, sporting a grey fur coat. The guests looked on as typically high-octane glamour stole the show, with 24-carat gold pinstripes and crystal embroidery ensuring the collection dazzled. Speaking backstage after the show, Donatella explained that she had taken inspiration from the "architectural splendour of glass domes where the fragility of glass contrasts with the strength of iron and steel beams".
This theme was explored in sparkling garments such as a yellow chiffon, crystal-encrusted minidress and a black column evening dress in a geometric pattern that featured an embroidered bustier. The show marked the start of Paris Haute Couture Week. And on Monday, Raf Simons is set to show his second Dior collection, following his critically-acclaimed Autumn/Winter 2012-13 debut for the house in July of last year. With its unusual settings, starry front row and stunning clothes, the highly-anticipated Chanel show is always one to look out for. Taking place on Tuesday morning, check back for pictures as fashion maestro Karl Lagerfeld takes Paris by storm once again. He will be followed by Stephane Rollande. Fashion insiders are already wondering which famous face he will have enlisted to model the bridal gown, which is a couture tradition to end the show. Yasmin le Bon is one of his previous recruits.
Wednesday is bound to see a slew of A-listers stepping out to see what Elie Saab, who is also known as the king of the red carpet, has up his sleeve. Glittering gowns will, no doubt, be the order of the day. The celebs are also likely to stop by and see what Valentino, loved by Anne Hathaway, has for the next season. It is an impressive line-up. But regular couture-week-goers are likely to miss the presence of one highly influential name in the couture world – Givenchy, who announced in December that it was taking a break from couture.