Oct 1, 2012
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Jane Birkin cheers Yamamoto's desert princesses

Oct 1, 2012

Jane Birkin easily made her pick among the spring looks sent out by Yohji Yamamoto at the Paris ready-to-wear shows Friday: a simple black number radiating ease and effortless elegance.

Birkin, whose song recordings provided the soundtrack to much of the collection, took a front row seat to watch the veteran Japanese designer's show, which wrapped up day four of Paris Fashion Week.

Yohji Yamamoto - SS 2013 / Photo: PixelFormula

Does she wear Yamamoto in everyday life? "I have for a very, very long time, usually the boys clothes," Birkin told AFP backstage afterwards.

This time she singled out half a dozen looks in black, blending suit materials and fine wool, like a long, hooded cardigan worn over slender cropped pants.

"That is what I could wear -- and will wear," she said. "It doesn't look as if you've tried too hard."

Yamamoto sent out desert princesses with punkish bleached blonde quiffs on their heads, in long sage green tunics, with frayed hems and a long train at the rear.

Asymmetric dresses wound around the body, while others billowed light as parachute silk. Lots of black, but also poppy red, and flashes of blue and orange.

Once a band of four aviator girls strode out in military slacks and flight suits, goggles on their heads.

Yamamoto said he was "trying to enjoy the summer" with a collection infused with a traveller's spirit.

"When I was young I travelled a lot, but now I am lazy," he smiled from under his trademark black hat, champagne glass in hand. The clothes do the travelling for him, in other words.

Earlier Friday at the Japanese house Issey Miyake, tropical birds with striped plumage fluttered onto the Paris catwalks as the house sent out a joyously upbeat look for next spring.

The label's designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae took as starting point the feathers of a bird -- first immobile, then flapping its wings as it lands on water -- for a collection billed as an exploration of colour.

Black and white was the baseline of the look, worked in fine pleats, wide stripes and geometric panes, on knee-length dresses, tunics and leggings, worn above athletic leather sandals.

But eye-popping colour -- lime, orange, purple or blue -- was never far away, whether splashed alongside a black and white check, or used on its own in merry collages of three or four hues at a time.

Upbeat was the watchword as the models positively bounced down the catwalk, hair pulled up into big backcombed ponytails, in knit dresses whose light-as-air mesh sprung up and down as they walked.

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