Related News

Home » World

Paris' fashion shows end, oddly, on a tennis court

THE French capital's spring-summer 2010 ready-to-wear displays wound down yesterday with schoolgirl-meets-callgirl looks at Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton's eclectic, sporty, hippy, layered street chic and Hermes' tennis-themed clothes shown in a hall entirely covered with real grass.

Fashionistas' spike heels left little holes behind them as they climbed the grass-covered bleachers, perching on little removable cushions for Hermes' Wimbledon-in-Paris themed show. Only once it started, it wasn't clear if you should be watching the models, who sported sweatbands and flippy pleated skirts, or the spirited mock match being played at the far end of verdant hall. (One opponent managed to send a stray ball flying high into the crowd, where it bounced off a spectator's head).

Sport was also in the air at Vuitton, where Marc Jacobs sent out models with humongous Afros wearing mismatched looks layered over knit biker shorts.

For his signature line, Dior designer John Galliano also delivered heavily layered looks, covering the models at his "Sunset Boulevard"-inspired show with sheer negligees, light printed skirts, sharp shouldered jackets and trenches with lace paneling.

Prada second line Miu Miu's collection - which brought together parts of a straight-laced schoolgirl's wardrobe and that of a Vegas showgirl circa 1955 - was disquieting, slightly subversive and very appealing.

Lebanese designer Elie Saab, a red carpet favorite, sent out a collection of asymmetrical sheath dresses with powerful shoulders and chiffon goddess gowns sprinkled with sequins which, while not quite Academy Awards material, would have been perfect for one of the myriad Oscar run-up awards ceremonies. I'm guessing singer Nelly Furtado, one of the show's front-row guests, can find the right occasion to slip into one of them.

Kenzo rocked the casbah with an alluring collection of mosaic-tile printed sundresses and harem pants of North African inspiration, as The Clash's iconic hit blasted and an enormous metallic sun burst into shreds of tiny foil confetti overhead.

French-born designer Roland Mouret - whose label bears the cumbersome name RM by the designer Roland Mouret - was on-trend with his artfully draped metallic jersey jumpers and asymmetrical cocktail dresses.

Paris' ready-to-wear shows officially end on Thursday afternoon, following shows by five smaller-name labels. The city's fall 2010-winter 2011 displays start in early March.


Vuitton spring-summer woman is equal parts hippie traveler, Catholic schoolgirl, Manhattan bike messenger, football quarterback and blaxploitation star Pam Grier.

Models dwarfed by their massive Afros - which came in all shades of natural hair color - sported clothes in a riot of colors and textures, with materials from cotton broadcloth in nerdy checks to nubby knits and slick fluorescent microfibers, lustrous metallics, football jersey mesh and ribbons.

"We decided to do something real ... and look at the clothes people wear on the street and in urban landscapes," Jacobs told reporters. "Then of course we heightened it to a place where it became entertaining for all, which is what fashion's all about."

The hybrid theme was an ideal vehicle for accessories and handbags - major cash cows for Vuitton. The models toted slick leather backpacks that looked, oddly, like garbage bags, as well as more conventional backpacks and messenger bags with oversized fur animal tails dangling off them.

Little tails and tufts of fur also embellished nearly all of the shoes on offer, from the kitten-heeled boots to the nubby suede loafers to the cute Velcro-strapped clog-sandal hybrids.

Wednesday's show was a radical departure from last season, when Jacobs delivered chic and saucy Parisiennes in Playboy bunny ears. Though far less glamorous, this season's look was lots of funky, wearable fun.


For his upbeat sartorial remake of "Sunset Boulevard," Galliano recast the movie's tragic heroine - the faded screen siren Norma Desmond - as a tough cookie whose iron will and magpie eye allow her to prevail in the end.

Galliano's models were all Norma - played in the film by Gloria Swanson - as she sees herself in the mirror plotting a wardrobe for her return to the red carpet.

Her looks are cobbled together from what she's got hanging around - silken nighties, oversized jackets, bits of lace, feathers and oversized diva sunglasses - and worked into over-the-top outfits that won't take no for an answer.

Dialogue from "Sunset Boulevard" was piped in at the beginning of the show, and as soon as the models appeared, dressed in riotous looks concocted from layer upon layer of sheer negligees, light printed skirts, sharp shouldered jackets and trenches with lace paneling, it was clear: In Galliano's rendition, when Norma says "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," it's because she's ready for a close up. Galliano's Norma has fulfilled her dream of becoming a star again and is back in the studio making yet another big picture - not just playing for dirt-digging journalists, as happens in Billy Wilder's 1950 movie.


The look at Miu Miu was like something off a straight-to-DVD movie: "Schoolgirl by day, callgirl by night...."

The show started with long lean pants and matching button-down shirts in navy and black silk printed with colored swallows, sleeping cats or Matisse-like naked figures. The shirts' long, downward-facing lapels and elongated bouffant sleeves gave them a swinging sixties feel.

That was the schoolgirl part.

It got more complicated from there. Designer Miuccia Prada then sent out the same slim looks, but with whole panels sliced out of the midriffs, which reduced the shirt to a sort of bandeau top with long sleeves and a collar.

Prada kept on slashing until just the sleeves and collar remained. She attached them to little dresses in nude tulle adorned with swirling feathers in oversized rhinestones and big orange sequins that looked like they belonged on a Vegas showgirl from the fifties.

It was a disconcerting look that stayed true to the slightly kinky, subversive edge that has come to be associated with Miu Miu. It was also among the most original of the Paris collections and a welcome relief from the sea of big-shouldered, asymmetrical dresses, high-waisted short shorts and artfully draped cocktail numbers in neutral tones.


Models sporting sweatbands and vertiginous heels utterly unsuited for sport and carrying tennis balls in oversized versions of the label's legendary Birkin bag with old-school wooden rackets and balls inside skulked down the catwalk - a strip of earth with grassy expanses on either side.

Winning looks included an ankle-length dress in sheer navy worn over a leotard cut like an old-fashioned bathing suit and worn by Czech supermodel Eva Herzigova and a flippy little skirt in paper thin leather - the signature material of the house, which began as a saddlemaker.

Designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who showed his eponymous line of hip-hop-infused looks last weekend, said he was inspired on by a French tennis woman from the 1930s that Hermes outfitted - though he was a bit fuzzy on the details.

"I don't recall her name, I know nothing about tennis," Gaultier told journalists as he mingled with guests after the show. "I saw a photo of her from the 20s or 30s, and I liked her silhouette, and I said 'allez, let's play tennis.'"


Designer Antonio Marras - a wanderlust-struck Italian who takes his inspiration from a new country or culture for every collection - was basking in the Saharan sun this time around. He delivered light, caftan-inspired sundresses, wrapped shirts and halter top jumpers in Islamic tile prints and paired shimmering, sequin-covered blazers with chic, cropped harem pants and travel-ready totes.

It was a far cry from last season's icy Russian-inspired collection, but Marras managed to put a North African twist on the patterned knit sweaters that have become one of the hallmarks of the house - which was founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada and is now owned by luxury giant LVMH.

Kenzo's runway shows are always a spectacle and Wednesday's was no exception. Models in the blue, white and brown dresses and metallic jumpsuits - a jumble of scarves and chain necklaces wound round their necks - descended the long, narrow runway, which was strung with long gold strings representing, it became clear, rays of the sun.

A massive circle made of gold foil burst into thousands of confetti pieces at the end of the show, as models sporting jumpers made from saturated pastel chiffon, their hair swathed in a rainbow of scarves, marched down the runway.

Just watching the show was enough to make you itch for a Saharan getaway.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend