The Quickie

A bite-sized look at this week's news…

Paris Fashion Week: from Darwin to Minnie Mouse

Posted by Athenais on October 14, 2008

Dance shows, shower curtains, carpets, Lego hats and a stuffed menagerie. No, this isn’t an advertisement for an amazing play centre for under-twelve’s. This is the crème of high fashion.

Paris Fashion shows are over but they started October in a bright and quirky way. It is now time for the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in Los Angeles, but before moving back across the ocean a roundup of the most colourful Paris excesses could be a brief relief from the bleakness of the credit crunch.

The Gaultier show opened with a trio of dancers and the collection that followed was full of swimsuits, flimsy wrap dresses and capes.

Colour, colour and more colour.

Bright silks, bold outfits and oversize detailing were spotted at the Christian Lacroix show. While Sonia Rykiel favoured candy-coloured looks with tailored skirts and suits, rhinestone-incrusted berets and a lot of yellow, red and purple.

At Vivienne Westwood tailoring is not the forte but certainly not for the worst: swishy pastel dresses and pale curtain wrap-ups rule. The message is to promote a very personal DIY look. It’s about piecing up together old clothes and timeless pieces, Vivienne Westwood explained backstage: “take the plastic shower curtain and you might look great”. That says it all.

But the real show was brought on by Delhi-born designer, Manish Arora’s circus collection. He unleashed on the ring, face-painted models wearing boisterous colours and a range of mini outfits that looked as hard as painted wood.

Pinocchio anyone?

There was no lion tamer but a music box dress didn’t fail to attract attention. Arora wowed with his skills for the embellishment crafts with some striking examples of beading, appliqué and embroidery.

And for those who are scared of clowns, the childhood spirit continued two days later with French nobleman, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s collection. A lot of erratic Disney-like pieces ranging from Mickey Mouse shoes to Lego hats. Perfect if you want to blend into a cartoon!

At the Mc Queen show, a Darwinian spirit was ‘de rigueur’ as models paraded alongside stuffed wild animals. No creepy vibe however this season: no nightmare-inducing music or scary backdrops. The models paraded in stiff nude mini-dresses with yellow lace overlays, silk puffy dresses with degrades of animal print and alligator-skin corset belts.

Amazing subtle references to the animal kingdom while the speakers sang: “There are lots of funny animals but have you ever seen a panther who is pink?” We still cannot say that we have, but a life size bunny (speculations are it was the designer himself) bouncing out on the finale certainly did make up for it!

It’s going to be tough to walk back into the grown up world…

by Anastasia Porret, amadeo_ld@hotmail.co.uk

Click here for background article on LA fashion week

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