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Dame Helen Mirren led a charge of celebrities along the catwalk on Sunday afternoon, as L’Oréal kicked off their latest show at Paris Fashion Week.
Wearing a patterned suit, towering platforms and dramatic make-up, the actress looked worlds away from her usual self as she helped the brand unveil their SS22 range.
Although the rain was torrential all morning, the skies cleared for the open-air show – though a spot of bad weather wouldn’t have fazed Dame Helen.
‘I’m English, I can do this,’ said the actress, adding that she was more concerned about her heels.
‘I’ll be clomping down [the catwalk] like a giant,’ she said. ‘I love them, because it’s lovely to suddenly be a few inches taller, especially when you’re surrounded by all these gazelles.’
Dame Helen, 76, was joined by other L’Oréal ambassadors Amber Heard and Camila Cabello, who walked the runway in a pink, feathered jumpsuit and a Giambattista Valli dress respectively.
The stars were joined by models including Soo Joo Park, Liya Kebede and Isabeli Fontana for the show, which was staged overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
The event, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the L’Oréal tagline ‘Because you’re worth it’, aimed to celebrate women’s empowerment and showcase the L’Oréal Stand Up Against Street Harassment cause, which educates and encourages women to speak out against the problem.
The models and celebrities walked the runway through a crowd of dancers wearing white, with T-shirts sporting slogans like ‘Feminist and Feminine.’
‘We thought it was important to do a [runway show] which is militant,’ said Délphine Viguier-Hovasse, the brand’s global president, backstage.
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Dame Helen also expressed her support for the cause. ‘When I got to London I was about 17 or 18. I would say twice a week, some guy would expose himself to me, whether it was on the Tube, [or] walking down the street,’ she explained.
‘When I got to be 25, it stopped happening. It was nothing to do with attractiveness, all to do with power, intimidation, victimisation.’
Heard also praised L’Oréal for its initiative which, since its launch in March 2020, has trained 400,000 people how to safely intervene when they are a victim or witness to harassment in public spaces.
‘I never thought in a million years I would desire or ever feel excited to walk in a fashion show,’ said Heard, admitting she suffers from stage fright.
‘But I feel incredibly honoured to be able to do that with L’Oréal Paris, because it is a brand that embodies to its very core the essence of female empowerment. It is the brand of femininity and feminism; it is the perfect expression of the two, and they do so through initiatives like Stand Up.’
Paris Fashion Week comes to a close this week, bringing an end to a month of shows across London, New York and Milan.
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