Paris Haute Couture 2014: Versace gets a leg up on the season with JLo

The event: Atelier Versace kicked off the Paris fall/winter 2014 haute couture collections Sunday with Jennifer Lopez seated front row.

No matter that JLo’s ultra-glam, white strapless gown had been slit nearly waist-high. Beneath were one-legged pants smothered in crystals, which caught the light from a multitude of flashbulbs as the crowd of photographers spotted her entering the fashion show venue: the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, formerly a grand 19th century mansion built for the Polish Count Nicolas Potocki.

The fashions: “Lean, mean silhouettes,” said shoe designer Brian Atwood of the collection, often cut away to reveal the body, buckled at the waist or hip, dripping with vinyl fringes or slit high like JLo’s frock, with one pant-leg beneath. There were billowing ball gowns too but in characteristic Versace style, far sexier than anything seen in an earlier era of formal dinner dances.

Quote of note: Said designer Donatella Versace in the program notes, “I wanted to celebrate construction and deconstruction, provoking by taking away fabric, to make couture modern.”