Paris fashion predicts short dark winter

6th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 6, 2007 (AFP) - Top fashion designers offered women a short, sculpted and often somber silhouette of low-key elegance for next winter, even though the Paris ready-to-wear shows themselves were sometimes theatrical.

PARIS, March 6, 2007 (AFP) - Top fashion designers offered women a short, sculpted and often somber silhouette of low-key elegance for next winter, even though the Paris ready-to-wear shows themselves were sometimes theatrical.

 At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld brought a dazzling flurry of artificial snow flakes down on his snowy Alpine catwalk, while Kenzo's show culminated with a fiery tango by about a dozen male dancers with rag doll partners.

The dynamic Dutch duo Viktor and Rolf kitted each of their models out with individual scaffolding to which the clothes were attached and lit up, and John Galliano's mise-en-scene was enchanting, if surrealist.

Amid the porcelain doll-like models, the British showman designer presented a garden party verging on a curiosity shop or farm, with a stag in hay as a woman peeled potatoes and another chomped on chocolates.

The eight-day run of collections for autumn-winter 2007-08 wrapped up late on Sunday, also bringing to a close a twice-yearly month-long tour that had already taken editors and buyers to New York, London and Milan.

Under often grey skies and spring showers, many of the Paris shows took place near the French capital's top tourist attractions -- Martin Margiela at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and Louis Vuitton in a grand square by the Louvre.

But perhaps the most romantic Parisian scene was conjured up at Nina Ricci where Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens made his highly-anticipated debut with feather-like dresses and city wear.

The open-ended runway at the show in a clear-topped tent in the Jardin des Tuileries off the Place de la Concorde revealed the park and a backdrop of mist through the bare trees.

Theyskens, formerly of Rochas until that house's ready-to-wear was closed down last year, was not the only designer facing the daunting task of seeking to make their creative mark at an established fashion house.

Sweden's Paulo Melim Andersson made his runway debut at Chloe, offering nonchalance with edge, often in bright orange for a refreshing splash amid the shades of black largely offered by designers.

Although not a new face at the French fashion house Leonard, Veronique Leroy understands well the challenge of bringing a fresh take to an established house, especially one known for its distinct prints.

"It's difficult but as in a house where there is no history it's difficult too because you have to create everything," she said.

Valentino marked his 45th anniversary as a top designer with sophisticated 1940s movie star glamour, while France's Martine Sitbon returned with a new label, Rue du Mail, named after the Paris street where she is based.

Christian Lacroix snubbed his usual colours and prints for a collection largely in what he described as "marvellous" black, while Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent instilled a quiet sense of chic into shades of black.

When colour was used it was bright and bold -- at Christian Dior, John Galliano's matching suits, shoes and bags came in sweetie colours from purple to lime, and Jean Paul Gaultier favoured yellow or red tartan.Key trends for next autumn included voluminous sleeves.

At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz puffed sleeves or emphasised the shoulders with cape tops on dresses. Other designers went in for details such as epaulettes or padding, noted Hilary Alexander, fashion director of the Daily Telegraph.

"Emphasis has shifted away from the chest and the decolletage, the bust, to the sleeves, the shoulders," she said.

Although hemlines were generally short, skirts were jazzed up perhaps with a train or ruffle at the back, or were shaped or roll-hemmed. But Chanel lengthened its silhouette after several leggy seasons.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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