It's Dada and Monsieur Butterfly at Paris men's fashion show
Creation of Ann Demeulemeester in Paris
Photo : Pierre Verdy/AFP
Demeulemeester and fellow Belgian Branquinho's lines unveiled here Saturday, June 30th on the penultimate day of the hectic fashion fest, were like chalk and cheese and both explained their inspiration behind the themes.
Branquinho's models, strutting to the beats of Belgian rock band Monky Pussy, sported a eclectic mixture of styles -- from the classic leather jacket and long black pullovers to thongs teamed up with a trenchcoat with flapping kimono sleeves.
Gut-punching colours abounded. A T-shirt with pencil-thin horizontal stripes peeking out under a flowing satin shirt in electric blue, or trousers with bold stripes.
"It's multicultural, with the fine details of Asia, like shirts with ethnic styles closing at the shoulders or the trench with the kimono sleeves. It's the marriage of East and West," Branquinho said.
Demeulemeester meanwhile sought inspiration from the "anti-art" Dada movement which began shortly after World War I and aimed to challenge all that was established in the world of the arts, literature, thinking and fashion.
Thus the black armbands on the fine lines of the undulating white blousons, waistcoats in the most delicate satin and fine scarves wreathed around the neck. And black sneakers.
Demeulemeester said her inspiration for the collection was an "imaginary Dadaist who vacations in the south of France".
"It's a very eccentric personality, very free-spirited, very artistic, who mixes day, afternoon and evening wear," she said.
Pantalons "maculés" de peinture lors du défilé Saint Laurent à Paris printemsp-été 2008 - Photo : François Guillot/AFP
Yves Saint Laurent's Stefano Pilati drew inspiration from the baking Italian summers of his childhood with trousers spattered with a riot of colours, poncho-like pullovers with flapping sleeves and the loose coats.
There were also shiny black coats with black trousers and a midnight blue tuxedo overlaying a T-shirt.
Franck Boclet, appointed to relaunch menswear for Emanuel Ungaro, meanwhile told AFP he imagined he was creating for "the grandson of Steve McQueen or Marlon Brando" for his first collection for the house.
His vision of Ungaro man was "elegant, modern, but also a great chameleon."
The former designer at Francesco Smalto concentrated on luxury fabrics, like cashmere, with great attention to detail for his wardrobe for spring-summer 2008 in a sober palette of black, white, grey and maroon.
He showed narrow jackets with silk lapels, pleated trousers, and fine pullovers in pale grey with scooped necklines like the "U" of Ungaro or a horseshoe, worn over white shirts and burgundy ties.
Safari and suede jackets with jeans or white trousers tucked into high boots and riding coats had a cavalier feel.
Kris van Assche, who makes his much-awaited debut at Christian Dior on Sunday, July 1st took his own label to the countryside, inspired by the strong black and white images of the early 20th century German photographer August Sander.
He favoured big white peasant shirts and tunics protruding below the jackets over wide black trousers. Waistcoats were split at the back to show a singlet or glimpse of bare skin.
At Kenzo and Louis Vuitton, travel to faraway places was the inspiration.
For Kenzo the destination was the Caribbean, with floral print patchwork jackets, cotton trousers and classic bermudas, shown against a backdrop of luxuriant vegetation and origami animals.
Marc Jacobs took Louis Vuitton to the Riveria, with elegant summer suits, narrow trousers, shirts in crisp cotton pique, shorts and T-shirts, and for evening, mother-of-pearl waistcoats and iridescent jackets.
By Dominique Schroeder
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