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Jan 20, 2008
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Bad boy factor permeates menswear

By
AFP
Published
Jan 20, 2008

PARIS, Jan 20, 2008 (AFP) - The bad boy factor fashioned men's silhouettes on Paris catwalks this weekend as designers threw the seamy side of life into anything from suits to underwear.


Creation John Galliano fall-winter 2008/2009 collection
Photo : François Guillot/AFP

At the up-market house of Ungaro, French designer Franck Boclet wowed a packed crowd that included former soccer international Christian Karembeu with an extravganza of elegance for next winter that paired convention with daring.

"I've always liked his ability to create clothes close to the body," Karembeu told AFP.

Inspired by "Bohemian chic", the designer threw out a cast of models turned out like Austro-Hungarian counts, or early 20th century dandies about to board the Orient Express, in seamlessly-cut ample pants and flowing oversized scarves.

Sporting elegant walking-sticks or long fur boas and Humphrey Bogart hats, Boclet's collection combined a tidy masculine figure in short jackets cut with well-fitted shoulders, with daring rib-high pants and huge midriff-hugging buckled belts.

"I love the gypsies' natural elegance," Boclet told AFP. "And I like their delirious side that loves to surprise."

Like many of the menswear designers showing in Paris, he mixed and matched jackets and pants, pairing a prince-of-wales jacket with pink trousers, a tweed jacket with striped pants, or even offering a pin-striped suit in two thicknesses of stripes.

France's Jean-Paul Gaultier too went to the bad boys for inspiration in a collection rooted in 1980s London and Stanley Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange", throwing models onto the catwalk wielding umbrellas and wearing 80s hats.

Clad in big coats with huge collars, the Gaultier boys sported black shirts and jodhpurs crammed in boots. There was lots of leather and fur in biker jackets with fur sleeves and long coats in leather and fur.

There was a hint of metal in many fabrics, and the designer offered a few of his iconic stripes, in blacks and dark reds, or blacks and grays.

John Galliano, fabled for his outlandish displays on the world's catwalks, took the concept of violence a step further in a collection "influenced by the feeling of various street silhouettes ... in New York City."

Intertwining the new and the old, the British designer fused his vision of NYC with costumes inspired by the 15th and 16th centuries in the times of Henry VIII and Richard III.

His models, from rich royals to grunge servants, paraded down a catwalk shrouded in dry ice in celebration of the old London frost Fairs wearing jesters hats, animal masks, flying ribbons and little that looked wearable.

The high point was a bloodied battered model wearing an executioner's hood with a thick rope wrapped around his neck and a Galliano-labelled jockstrap.

by Claire Rosemberg

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