The inimitable star’s catwalk turn gave Paris the jolt of irreverence it needed.
Fashion Month isn’t quite over but it may well have peaked with a sashaying Grace Jones doing provocative twirls on the runway to her 1981 hit Pull Up to the Bumper. Clad in a gold bodysuit and metallic blazer, the iconic multi-hyphenate was rounding up a triumphant show at Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya, while simultaneously reminding everyone she’s the main queen.
Size-inclusive and featuring only models of colour, Zendaya presented a ‘70s-inspired vision with flourishes of glitzy disco and vibrant florals. The SS19 buy-now collection paid tribute to the game-changing 1973 Battle of Versailles Fashion Show, when famous French labels, including Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, took on US designers in a competition to raise money for the restoration of the Palace of Versailles. The Americans used 11 black models in their show, an unprecedented number at the time, and won the contest.
“I was inspired by these incredible women,” Zendaya told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was a turning point in the industry and the point where black women were finally seen. In some ways, it’s why all of these beautiful young girls are here now, and we wanted to pay tribute to these iconic women.”
Tyra Banks, Gigi Hadid, Janelle Monae, Carine Roitfeld and Lewis Hamilton watched from the front row as some of the famous faces who stormed the runway in 1973, including Pat Cleveland and Beverly Johnson, joined Jourdan Dunn, Winnie Harlow and other current supers.
“Size-inclusivity has been important to me always — if women in my family can’t all wear it, I don’t want to make it,” Zendaya told WWD. The 22-year-old said she wanted structure and tailoring to feature heavily in the collection.
Aside from glitzy metallics, oxblood was the colour of choice for boots, coats, trousers, bags and even the models’ lips. Loud, joyful floral shirts came in matchy-matchy suiting or paired with indigo denim. There was a Zodiac print that Zendaya told WWD she is “obsessed” with.
An inclusive show with smiling models, fashion pioneers and a Gen Z poster girl took some topping but Jones, 70, rose to the challenge with her unforgettable power strut.