Oct 1, 2009
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Manish Arora heads for the disco floor

Oct 1, 2009

PARIS, Oct 1, 2009 (AFP) - Sparkling in the strobe lights, the models looked as if they were about to step onto a disco dance floor at Manish Arora's ready-to-wear show on Thursday 1 October.

Photo: AFP/Pierre Verdy

In the Crazy Horse cabaret off the Champs Elysees the Indian designer recreated the heady glamour of the 1980s in his collection for next summer.

His models, in shoes with towering heels like rollerblades, arrived on the tiny stage on a conveyor belt and were twirled round on turntables.

Dinky short dance frocks in a op-art circle print in hot pink and grey jostled for attention with pants encrusted in giant pearly sequins in graduated shades from white to black.

The draped legs of catsuits twinkled with little silver chains, while tops bristled with rhinestones and crystals and the bare bones of a corset was fashioned from silver straps.

That said, there was less bling than usual and a restrained palette instead of brash full-technicolour. Arora also quietly dispensed with the ethnic Indian costume allusions which maybe limit his appeal.

Japan's veteran designer Hiroko Koshino turned her microscope on the world of insects to come up with delicate prints based on macro-photographic close-ups of chrysalises and butterfly wings.

She worked these in graphic black and white or vibrant shades like yellow and emerald into elegant sleeveless shifts and sundresses with ribbon straps or voluminous chiffon sarouels.

Some frocks were cinched with carapace-like corsets, others had intricately folded kimono-style tops, over full skirts falling into handkerchief points, cut from traditional Japanese woven paper with a glazed finish like dragonfly wings.

Earlier Thursday 1 October South Korean designer Lie Sang Bong's collection for next summer opened with simple full-length tunic dresses with graphic black and white spirals, worn over hose with bands.

But more typical were his complex sculptural creations, like frocks with outsize stiff bows at the neck, catsuits folded or draped all the way down the front and back, and cocoon-shaped dresses with giant armholes.

A short lavender trench coat was abbreviated to a cape over a bare back while one evening dress consisted in swathes of fabric attached to the neck of a sheer stocking bodysuit with safety pins.

Marco Zanini's debut catwalk show for Rochas on Wednesday 30 September had a retro feel, which the Italian designer said was inspired by France's colonial past, particularly the French Indochina of novels like Marguerite Duras's "The Lover".

He showed lots of silky slip dresses with spaghetti straps and dippy hemlines, accessorised with ankle socks and sandals or heels, and panama hats.

Cardigans were tucked into skinny midi skirts in something akin to the 1960s granny look.

Cropped pants in a lurid lime and city shorts in a silvery crepe jarred with the rest of the tasteful collection.

Colours overall were somewhat muted, combinations of mustard, maroon and wine-dregs, which can be tricky to wear unless one doesn't mind looking like a granny.by Sarah Shard

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