Paris hosts gothic ball for Givenchy
Black capes over leopard-skin, zippers and belts slung around the thighs, Givenchy struck a dark, sensuous note in Paris Sunday with a summer look that seemed plucked from Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut."
Stepping out into a courtyard, the first model wore a cropped white jacket with a long tail falling down the back, over a black skirt and transparent petticoat that stretched down to thick, dizzying heels.
Singers Lily Allen and Courtney Love, Justin Timberlake and Liv Tyler were among the famous faces who watched as designer Riccardo Tisci sent out organza tops secured at the back with leather straps that hinted at bondage gear.
Faces were powdered white with darkened lips, the hair stern and short, or gathered on each side of the face amd tipped with small plaits.
Golden zippers ran all over a sleeveless black jacket, above sleek pants with a copper belt hooked at the top of the thighs.
A few pieces in the palest pink provided a brief distraction, but the show returned swiftly to a darker register, with a whole series in leopard-skin.
Short skirts were layered over pants -- then covered over by long petticoats in see-thru fabric or fish-net.
A tight, starched blouse like a fencer's suit had a transparent back, while a thick, breastplate-like piece flowed into a cape sweeping down the back.
For his men's collection in June, Tisci also built around black, his trademark colour, and leopard-skin, dressing models in Mexican-wrestler style leather masks with grids for the eyes and mouth.
But the designer broke with the gothic tone of his spring/summer line for 2011, unveiled mid-way through Paris' marathon ready-to-wear shows, stepping out to salute the crowd in a bright blue-checked shirt.
A world apart, John Galliano chose a 1920s artist's muse as inspiration for his luxuriant new summer look.
Janet Jackson took a front-row seat to watch the models step out in a riot of hats, gypsy scarves and fur collars, each outfit intended to be as singular as a portrait said the British designer.
Models in over-the-top make-up twirled in light, flounced dresses cut from fragile, transparent fabrics.
A skirt was hemmed with ostrich feathers or Spanish shawl fringes, while ultra-wide pants were layered with black tulle, and trenches were cut from translucent grey organza that left the structure and seams on full display.
Galliano took his inspiration from Maria Lani, muse to some of the greatest artists of her day including Amedeo Modigliani, whose portrait adorned the invite to the show.
There were pink and orange -- everywhere this season -- but also butterfly motifs on a frou-frou bustier dress or see-thru jacket.
At sundown, Galliano's woman stepped out in cristal- and gold-incrusted gowns, mostly white, displaying an artisan's touch unusual for a ready-to-wear collection, however luxurious.
Galliano says he was inspired for evening wear by Constantin Brancusi's metal sculptures. The kinship was far from obvious, but the result was delicate, feminine, with laser-sharp tailoring, and terribly desirable.
© 2010 AFP