Paris fashion week promises modern, sensual,feminine summer in 2005

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 11 (AFP) - The world's designers offered women a modern, sensual summer wardrobe for 2005 during Paris ready-to-wear week, which ended Monday - a fashion frenzy that provided drama, star turns and a few disappointments.

PARIS, Oct 11 (AFP) - The world's designers offered women a modern, sensual summer wardrobe for 2005 during Paris ready-to-wear week, which ended Monday - a fashion frenzy that provided drama, star turns and a few disappointments.  

Jean-Paul Gaultier made two strong, distinct statements during a jam-packed week of more than 100 catwalk shows, sending out smouldering urban gypsies under his own name and unveiling a beautifully chic second collection for Hermes.  

"I adore the Hermes house with its traditions, its savoir-faire... and I always love myself," the French designer joked after the Hermes show, obviously not at all worried about the creative demands of working for two labels.  

The king of fashion multi-tasking has to be Karl Lagerfeld, who produced three collections this season - for Fendi, his own Lagerfeld Gallery and Chanel - as well as a line for Swedish retailer H and M, due out next month.  

The prolific German designer has an innate talent for conjuring up feminine yet sexy clothes firmly grounded in the present, and he delivered at Lagerfeld Gallery, injecting primary colours in his traditionally black and white world.  

At Chanel, the pretty clothes were nearly lost in the paparazzi circus created by the presence of film star Nicole Kidman, the new face of the label's fabled No. 5 perfume, at a show appropriately entitled "Red Carpet".  

But the collection - a skilful mix of brilliantly reworked tweed suits, 1940s-style swimwear and glamorous siren gowns - stood on its own, if you could ignore the stampeding snappers long enough to actually focus on it.  

Phoebe Philo at Chloe perfectly captured the modern feminine vibe sweeping through the shows, earning rapturous applause for her lingerie-inspired pieces, casual masculine-cut suits and slinky satin dresses in ocean blue and green.  

Valentino gave his tanned glamour girls a sporty makeover, making the parka - in taffeta or organdy, naturally - and glittering gold polo shirts the centerpieces of his sexy line.  

Cyndi Lauper told us in the 1980s that girls just want to have fun, a lesson well learned by Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, John Galliano at Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix.  

The Vuitton show was full of sparkle and bright colours, while at Dior, Galliano sent out accessible, youthful clothes, abandoning his usual catwalk theatrics. Lacroix's giant pink bubble coat summed up the bright, cheery mood.  

Dutch design duo Viktor and Rolf picked up where Galliano left off in the drama department, electrifying the Paris fashion crowd with their explosive black and pink ribbons collection - the clever launch for their new fragrance.  

Alexander McQueen, also a bit of a showman, wowed his audience by staging a stylish game of chess, putting his models on a chequered catwalk.  

As far as trends for next summer, the ethnic chic seen in Milan did not travel to the Paris catwalks, except maybe at Kenzo, but a few common threads ran through the collections in the French capital.  

Denim made a welcome return - as a remake of a classic 1947 suit at Dior, plastered with logos at Louis Vuitton, and even at Hermes, where Gaultier sent out luxurious jean capris in dark blue or forest green.  

A Grecian breeze also swept through Paris, with Lanvin, Emanuel Ungaro, Paco Rabanne and Greek-born British designer Sophia Kokosalaki - who abandoned London to make her Paris debut - all showing softly draped dresses.  

As always, Japan's poetic designers bucked all trends. Yohji Yamamoto led the pack with his stunningly crafted collection, Naoki Takizawa explored the idea of applying make-up to clothing, and Jun Takahashi offered a study of passing time at Undercover with dresses that looked like aging paintings.  

The key debuts of the week failed to impress, with Italian designers Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent and Roberto Menichetti at Celine struggling to fill the shoes of their charismatic US predecessors, Tom Ford and Michael Kors.  

But there is nothing more difficult in fashion than replacing a well-liked, larger-than-life star designer. Fashionistas, mark your calendars for March 2005, to see how Pilati and Menichetti fare in their second outings.


Subject: French News

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