America has the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and now France has its counterpoint in Etam. Or at least that seemed to be the message at the lingerie brand’s cabaret-esque runway show in Paris, which was broadcast live in 20 movie theaters throughout France.
Natalia Vodianova, who’s been the face and designer of an underwear collection for Etam since 2009, threw her annual (and shamelessly awaited) show with unleashed bravado. No less than five live girl-power performances punctuated the runway action: M.I.A., Lily Allen, Rita Ora, Lykke Li, and Selah Sue provided the beat for the models (including Isabeli Fontana and Liu Wen), to strut to in the brand’s sexy, playful creations.
The outfits were rumored to have been styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé–which would explain the presence of an enthusiastic Emmanuelle Alt (whose lap was filled not by an it-bag but rather her adorable daughter).
The styles referenced recent fashion high points: Bollywood-inspired embellishments a la Manish Arora, a floppy hat and sheer cape seemed like a riff on Saint Laurent, and white futuristic gear seemed to wink at Margiela.
Add onto it a heavy dose of glitter, costume jewelry, crowns of flowers, and trains of all sorts. “This is an homage to lightness, happiness. It’s girly, it’s sexy but soft around the edges, never offensive,” said Vodianova. “Sometimes I’m like ‘Where is the champagne? Where are the cigarettes? Oh wait, I’m a mother now.’ Which I love more, but the sheer fun of the show is a way of honoring my early modeling days.”
When asked about the difference between models of her generation and today’s fresh crop, Vodianova replied with a giggle that her lot “used to be a lot more rock’n’roll. Up all night, plenty of drinking, plenty of mad partying. Girls are so professional today!” she said, adding that she recently told Karlie Kloss off for going to bed too early. “Go party, go dance, have an extra drink. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s shoot!” she suggested.
The front row felt like a prequel to the Cannes Film Festival: Ludivine Sagnier, Mathilde Seignier, Léa Seydoux, and Josephine de la Baume (whose hubby Mark Ronson art directed the performance) all seat-danced during the show.
The garments might be a little over-the-top for your run of the mill French girl, but the show definitely gets an A for effort–and Cara Delevingne an A+ for her passionate lip-syncing to every single song played during the show.
Click through to see all the looks.