Sep 28, 2011
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Paris fashion week opens in black and white

Sep 28, 2011

PARIS, Sept 27, 2011 (AFP) - Paris Fashion Week got off to a black-and-white start on Tuesday as a duo of Asian designers sent out Spring-Summer looks for 2012 that played on monochrome in both setting and style.

Paris Fashion Week
Anthony Vaccarello - SS 2012 / Photo: Pixel Formula

The global fashion pack descended on a Paris basking in gorgeous Indian Summer sunshine for the finale of the four-week ready-to-wear marathon, after a stop in Milan where the tone was firmly upbeat despite the economic gloom.

South Korean Moon Young Hee chose a light-flooded 19th-century warehouse, glass-roofed and panelled in white, to showcase a line she said fused high-tech pleats with traditional Asian tailoring, boyish cuts with ethereal draping.

Straight-cut white shift dresses and pants were criss-crossed with Mondrian-like lined patterns in maroon, blue, green and yellow, worn with or without a mannish jacket.

Hair was pinned in wispy chignons, make-up made do with touches of blue, green or red on the eyes, and shoes were flat dancer's lace-ups.

Demure, skin-covering day numbers gave way for evening to fluid organza dresses in whites and pastels, with inside-out pockets that bulged at the hips, deep cowl necks, and floaty strips that sprouted from sleeves and back like angel wings.

Silky cream shirts were glammed-up with outsize ruffles down the front, and halter neck tops were fashioned from shimmery organza wound into a rope.

For the finale the Paris-based designer sent out intricate pleated tops and dresses, in sculptured, bulbous shapes that rose high and wide around the neck.

Harry Halim chose a former metalworks as backdrop for his womenswear show, but this time it was all in black, from the walls to the models' lipstick and chunky lace-up platform shoes.

The Indonesian-born, Singapore-trained designer, sent out models to the beeps, clicks and pounding drums of an industrial electro soundtrack, dressed in macrame-like capes with stringy loops and fringes, over hotpants or mini skirts in slinky black.

Skin-tight black leather trousers widened below the knee into silky see-thru flares that trailed on the floor, while masculine jackets were slashed and cut out, with thin ribbons strapped suggestively around bare torsos.

Belgian Anthony Vaccarello, who this year received the French fashion world's prestigious ANDAM prize for young designers, also staged an ultra-sexy show on the banks of the River Seine.

Vaccarello's woman was a conquering figure, clad in mini-mini dresses inspired by the Art Deco movement, or urban pantsuits and bustiers with golden metal fastenings above the breast.

US top model Karlie Kloss closed the show, sculpted in a black asymmetrical dress that exposed one long leg and part of her belly.

"Bacon Sandwiches!": the cry rang out from a van parked outside the Aganovich show, its English vendor cheekily egging on fashionistas to succumb to temptation -- in a nod to the inspiration behind the London duo's show.

Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor sent out a collection loosely inspired by the palette of Francis Bacon, poppy red and black, chocolate and mint, opening their show with two actors staging a mock-interview of the late British painter.

Distorting mirrors were used to reflect the clothes made from organza, its sheer, bouffant folds pinned here and there by asymmetric buttons and clips, while tunics used trompe l'oeil effects, with sleeves or collars that looked detachable.

Wednesday's most eagerly awaited shows are the Belgian Dries Van Noten and Portugal's Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who made a strong impression in New York with his first line for Lacoste, and who is showing in Paris under his own name.

Thierry Mugler's late night, off-calendar show is also one to watch, with the house designer Nicola Formichetti, also Lady Gaga's personal stylist, slated to unveil a short film starring the eccentric diva.

by Emma Charlton

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