Winnie Harlow triggered a frenzy of flashing cameras as she strode confidently down the catwalk at Michael Cinco’s show in Paris.
The 21-year-old Canadian model, who is known for having a prominent form of the skin condition vitiligo, drew applause from members of the audience as she embarked upon her circuit.
The Dubai-based Cinco’s bespoke and prêt-a-porter collections paid homage to the picturesque surroundings of the Jardin des Tuileries in the heart of Paris.
“I took inspiration from the stunning flowers of the garden – they are everywhere you look,” says Cinco. “I also loved all the butterflies. This is a very inspiring and beautiful place.”
Floral motifs were omnipresent from the blooms of crisp white hydrangeas dotted around the interior of the elegant exhibition glasshouse to the video montage of abstract flowers, which heralded the start of Cinco’s show.
First to appear, the designer’s couture creations in cream and barely-there blush tones. Cocktail dresses were playful with latticed voluminous skirts, while evening gowns were romantic, floor sweeping and curve hugging. Sleeves were long, necklines were high and many dresses had either cascading capes or vertical epaulettes.
While understated in colour, the intricate top-to-toe beadwork of Cinco’s gowns was breathtaking and the weighty fishtails of his dresses swooshed dramatically as models glided by. Trumping all others in this regard was Cinco’s bridal gown, its vast train brushing over the designer shoes of front row fashionistas as the model went down the catwalk.
Marking the end of Cinco’s couture pieces were striking ballgowns in crimson with undulating hems and billowing skirts densely packed with embroidered peonies.
Harlow presented the designer’s first Couturissimo piece, a coquettish black mini-dress accented with cerulean appliqué flowers. Next came tea dresses, resembling impressionist paintings of summer meadows with accents of buttercup yellow, cornflower blue and amaranth.
Meeting Cinco’s couture collection at the crossroads, emerald green gowns with abstract blooms and buds and floaty trains followed sensual sheer-paneled sheath evening dresses and timeless little black numbers. Pleasingly – and remaining loyal to the maison’s code – necklines were trimmed with hand-finished flowers or dotted with glinting crystals.
Prodigious in its diversity and valiant in its range, the first crossover collection from Cinco for Couturissimo didn’t disappoint. His use of original prints and materials such as pineapple fabric also made for truly original buys – each one of them wearable, pleasingly affordable and unmistakably Cinco.