Jun 28, 2008
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How to drape men's lower half. Pants, shorts or kilts?

Jun 28, 2008

PARIS, June 28, 2008 (AFP) - Pants are coming in all shapes and forms at the Paris men's fashion spring/summer 2009 shows this week, with some designers even throwing in dresses and kilts.

Top name John Galliano, a designer who likes to shock, threw asymmetrical kilts topped by brightly-coloured tartan jackets on his models in a catwalk show themed on the sartorial travels of a male model.

In Japan, his models donned baggy sarouel-style pants, a cut seen at many of the shows at the four-day Paris menswear collections that end Sunday.

After years of the skinny-look pants brought to the fashionista world in the early 2000s by cult ex-Dior designer Hedi Slimane and equally-cult Belgian Raf Simons, the 30-odd designers seen so far appear keen to overhaul the classic pair of pants.

From baggy shorts to sarouels to wide pyjama-style pants, both big brand designers with huge sales at stake to avant-gardist creators are experimenting with what to wrap around the lower half of men.

Possibly the most ultra-daring so far was Romain Kremer with men in long transparent dresses in fluorescent shades and skirt-like shorts in stiff foam.

The sagging baggy sarouels long worn in North Africa or India saw their Paris fashion climax at a first-ever catwalk show by Croatian-born Damir Doma, who sent models stomping the gravel paths of the Romanian embassy gardens in wide sarouels that mimicked skirts and ended in tight-tight leggings to the ankles.

Galliano too went for leggings in bright colours in a big way beneath his kilts, as did Givenchy, but in softer tones, coupling them with leather shorts in a first menswear collection by the brand's womenswear designer, Riccardo Tisci.

Kris Van Asche, one of the many Belgians setting the fashion tone this century and the new man at Dior following Hedi Slimane's departure, clad his models in sellable wearable hipster baggies hyped up with multi-stranded belts.

While many of the ever-so fashionable industry types attending the shows turned up in smart shorts, which so far have failed to wow street fashion, Van Ascche and others hammered away with them, baggy, straight, or even bloomer-like.

Showing under his own label, Kris Van Asche -- whose Dior collection will be unveiled Sunday -- laced up some of his shorts at the bottom, rounding them out in a feminine touch.

Many of the designers in Paris are blurring the lines between men's and women's wear, giving a feminine touch to masculine wear.

And in a new touch on Saturday, Belgium's Ann Demeulemeester threw out a batch of senior models on the catwalk, echoing a move by Yohji Yamamoto who also used a handful of well over 60-somethings at his show Thursday.

The sight of elderly men strutting the catwalk comes after a period when male models were increasingly young, sometimes almost under-aged and under-sized.by Claire Rosemberg

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