Fasten seat-belts: Paris takes fashion flight to tropics
Flight attendants in camouflage prints, infectious drum beats, literary asides and a generous helping of jokes: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac flew Paris to a comic-book jungle on Tuesday.
Impeccable attendants and stewards in black wool suits with shiny brass buttons and angled flight caps, welcomed the ready-to-wear Fashion Week crowd on board the "Uber Tropical Airlines" flight -- or UTA for short.
White provided the backdrop for the explosions of colour that followed, like a plain pencil skirt and shirt that were paired with rainbow coloured heeled boots with rows of buckles.
Models with big, curly hair carried a glitter-covered ghetto-blaster for an accessory and dangling gold Eiffel Towers as pendants, while literal-minded leopard prints had big cat faces staring out.
Quotes from jungle-themed literature packed the collection, from Saint Exupery's "Little Prince" whose face cropped up on outfits along with the quote "The essential is invisible"
A white kaftan was printed with the cover of Louis-Ferdinand Celine's "Night Flight", while a whole collection of blue and green African-style prints featured the comic-book character "Felix the Cat."
"This is not an evening dress," winked a red satin gown overlaid with black ribbon.
"My inspiration is life -- fun beauty, tropicalism," the French designer told AFP after the show. "It's a mix of the past and modernity -- of authenticity and karaoke," he quipped.
"It's metaphorical too -- about the idea of the union of peoples."
Other offbeat asides included a sleeveless top made entirely from pairs of brown sunglasses, or a yellow dress with an elephant's face printed on the front.
But there was classic, wearable garb too, like a gabardine trench in cream with olive green lapels, flowing jodhpur pants in see-through camouflage or linen-and-leather tunic dresses.
© 2010 AFP