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French connection

Rochelle Pinto sums up the delights at the Paris Fashion Week.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 13, 2009 13:57 IST
Hindustan Times
Paris Fashion Week

In many ways, the Paris Fashion Week reiterated what Milan had already shown.. a little creative indulgence despite economic restraints. And it was the younger generation of designers who revelled in the zeitgeist, putting out frivolous creations that married practicality to pomp. Here’s a rundown of trends that you can make your own.

Back to back
Forget cleavage, the back is the new point of focus. Christian Dior framed the shoulder blades in pretty cutouts while Hiroko Koshino chose to highlight her gowns with oversized bows. Vivienne Westwood played naughty with crinoline dresses that soared in the back while Sonia Rykiel’s flapper gowns plunged to daring depths.

The return of the mini
The proverbial tightening of the belt will lead to a slimmer, trimmer you? With that silver lining, the mini has resurfaced as the length of choice at Barbara Bui, Paul and Joe and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Try yours on with thigh-high boots like Paul and Joe or the season’s heel-less platforms like Nina Ricci and Alena Akhmadullina. Not into showing too much skin? Opt for leggings à la Emmanuel Ungaro and Christian Lacroix .. or go shiny like the models at Elie Saab

Think print
When budgets curtail the use of embellishment, smart designers add flourish with prints. Dries Van Noten mixed dyed fur and geometric prints in black and white. Floral met plaid and zig-zagged into paint splashes at Kenzo.. Veronique Leroy’s giant floral motifs adding vibrancy to her simple silhouettes.. Esteban Cortazar bringing print fever down to his shoes for Emmanuel Ungaro.. Indian mad hatter Manish Malhotra looking towards the jungles with monkeys, lions and a stray stag running wild on the runway.

Lacy longings
Elegantly cut lace overlay found a way into almost every collection, best summed up in Stella McCartney’s romantic dresses. Jean Paul Gaultier took a bolder approach in his bondage-inspired gauze and net dresses, paired with fishnet stockings. John Galliano pulled a feather out of Mata Hari’s hat to present Russian spies in daring transparent capes and bejewelled body pieces. Colette Dinnigan created sequined designs on her lace panelled dresses while Guy Laroche went goth.

Strict v/s slouchy
The strict silhouette showed up repeatedly in the form of cinched waists, slim hips and tights leather pants. Hussein Chalayan’s army of femmebots wore leather armour with soft knit accents in skin-tight cuts. Olivier Theyskiens left nothing to the imagination at Nina Ricci with figure-hugging gowns while Jean Paul Gaultier drew inspiration from female aviators in leather jackets and opaque leggings in his collection for Hermès. Alexander McQueen favoured Victorian silhouettes but pulled a coup by createing the illusion of a perfect figure.

On the more forgiving side, Chloe put out high-waisted peg leg trousers while Vivienne Westwood layered and draped to hide any unsightly bulges. Rei Kawakubo mixed the volume for Comme des Garcons in a collection that can only truly be worn as separates. Wolfgang Joop caught the eye with flouncy skirts and Riccardo Tisci adorned his clothes for Givenchy with swirls and twirls.