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Gender bending in Paris

Designers teamed ultra-feminine sheer silhouttes with grunge and tartan at Paris Fashion Week.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 29, 2012 12:09 IST

Tartan checks, boxy shorts and perfecto jackets met sheer silks and fluid silhouettes in Paris on Day 2 as designers played a boy-girl game with their looks for next spring.

The Belgian Dries Van Noten, who drew a glitterati crowd as the first big name of the nine-day Paris fashion shows, returned to his favoured masculine-feminine hunting ground, but with a tartan twist. “It’s more masculine, more couture and more grunge,” he said.

Couture meets grunge:
Lumberjack checks formed the backbone of the collection, with a shiny silver tartan spelled out on a pencil skirt, boxy shorts or a waistcoat. Van Noten confidently matched tartan checks of different hues or textures, like thick white and blue on the pants and sheer red and blue for the blouse. And the designer paired tartan with delicate Japanese-inspired floral prints, like on a light-as-air spaghetti-strap dress, with wine red check at the front and pale turquoise print at the back. Billowing floor-length capes in floral-print sheer silk were laid over tartan pants and long-sleeved blouses, glimpsed in transparency beneath.

French designer Alexis Mabille also played on the masculine and feminine. But the look was more boyfriend, with outsized shirts cinched at the waist to accentuate the silhouette. Checks also defined the collection, but it was gingham, in pale pink, blue or black, cut into blouses, skirts, drawstring-waisted dresses or pants — paired with clumpy black boots for a slightly punky look.

Croatian-born Damir Doma also played on a his-hers register, pairing fluid silks with military-inspired coats and perfecto detailing.

A dose of drama:
English designer Gareth Pugh’s collection at the Paris Fashion Week was inspired by Latin American cockfighting and flamenco. He described his designs in the hues of black, white, ice blue and blood reds exuding hard femininity.”