Power dressing opens Paris menswear run

PARIS, June 29, 2007 (AFP) - Top fashion designers Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano were in combat mode as they brought military flare to the opening day of the Paris menswear shows for next summer.


Creation of Jean Paul Gaultier spring-summer 2008 mens collections in Paris - Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP

Gaultier paid tribute to the Beatles' legendary Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band, celebrating its 40th birthday this year, with his collection, unveiled here on Thursday.

Just like the Fab Four on the album cover, his models were got up in military tunics with mandarin collars, epaulettes, and guardsman's trousers with gold braid trim. Some of them even sported the moustaches and long-hair of the epoch, but the punk touches of chains slung from the waist or shoulder were more reminiscent of Gaultier in his Eurotrash presenter days.


Jean Paul Gaultier on Thursday, June 28th, first day of mens ready-to-wear spring-summer 2008 collections in Paris- Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP

Favourite fabrics were inky black and indigo denim faintly spangled with lurex and liquid silver satin, for shirts rippling across the pectorals and flowing trench coats.

Among the more whimsical combinations he showed a denim jacket with sleeves like classic beige driving gloves with brown leather elbow patches while a midnight blue satin dressing gown was styled like an army greatcoat with gold chevrons.


Creation of Jean Paul Gaultier spring-summer 2008 mens collections in Paris - Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP

The sarong, as braved by David Beckham, was draped round mock military uniforms : incongruous or sexy, depending on one's point of view.

For swimwear Gaultier moved into high camp, with sailors' peaked caps, jackets festooned with frogging and gilt buttons over slippery black satin trunks laced up the side, straight out of the Village People's "In the Navy".


Creation of Jean Paul Gaultier spring-summer 2008 mens collections in Paris - Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP

Against the calming arches and windows of an old church on the outskirts of Paris, Galliano's rough and ready soldiers of fortune donned beige military pants over camouflage-covered blousons.


Model of the spring-summer 2008 collection of Galliano presented on June 28th in Paris - Photo: François Guillot/AFP

Bearded and with blackened chalky eyes, the heavily pierced models wore kaffiyeh-style scarves on their head or face, berets and caps.


Model of the spring-summer 2008 collection of Galliano presented on June 28th in Paris
- Photo: François Guillot/AFP

The British designer offered baggy North African-style trousers, while straps criss-crossed black leather jackets and long parkas and coats were equipped with plenty of big pockets.


Models of the spring-summer 2008 collection of Galliano presented on June 28th in Paris - Photo: François Guillot/AFP

More laid-back was Yohji Yamamoto's take on masculine style for next spring-summer, where a dove spreading its wings across a dark jacket set a more peaceful tone. The veteran Japanese designer offered comfortable ample trousers, perhaps zipped at the calf, punctuating the wardrobe with white and red stripes for a shirt.

Other big names on the busy four-day lineup of menswear designers include Louis Vuitton, Ungaro, Kenzo, Yves Saint Laurent, as well as Dior Homme where all eyes will be on Hedi Slimane's successor, Kris van Assche.

Shows wrap up on Sunday, July 1st.

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