Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fashion Designers bikini

Part futurist vision, part dashing exercise in tailoring, this was as original a collection as you are likely to see, based on a wonderful new, broad shouldered, loose cut jacket, curvy, jodhpur like pants, worn over night club warrior patent leather boots.

One typically spectacular look wafted down the runway of the Grand Palais on model Olga Scherer, an asymmetrically cut biker jacket in a tough industrial leather with a chain mail choker and mega high brown velvet pants - a great head turning moment yet a completely credible fashion statement.

Pilati's sense of how to use volume as a flattering design element rather than a designer's ego statement was also admirable - with mannish Jesuit sleeved white shirts, peplum flounced tunics or fiendishly well-cut wrap skirts.

This show should also bury a frequent criticism of Pilati, that is clothes age women a little; for his twirling cuts, tough chic finish and sense of gal in control proportions kept the mood very youthful. Take the cocktail worn by Lily Donaldson, a mauve silk look with tight torso, bubble skirt and humungous black belt that would work on a granny or a teenage gal. Made in blacks and grays, with hints of turquoise, electric blue and the designer's fetish pale yellow, the palette was as coherent as the collection.

Bikini Fashion hot

Buyers and fashion editors on the front on Sunday were already distilling the "must-have" items for shoppers, a process that is taking on a greater importance this season than in many.

With falling financial markets and weakening housing prices crimping consumer spending in U.S. and European countries, getting women there to buy clothes next fall is expected to be trickier than in many years.

Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director for the influential upscale U.S. department store chain and a front row fixture, said the consumer was already "definitely spending less than she was."

"We're seeing a lot of dark, sombre colors but what the consumer wants in these times is something really special, so color is really important in that," Downing said, tipping collections from Marni, Prada, Burberry and Balenciaga as among the most sellable.

Glenda Bailey, editor of the U.S edition of Harper's Bazaar, advised that even for the cash-strapped the shows suggested "a beautiful soft ruffle shirt" would be the quickest way for women to update their look next season, or a "cardigan belted in."

Vietnam girl

Still, the collection paraded several of the major trends for fall 2008 to have emerged during the six-week fashion show cycle -- volume skirts, narrow floating trousers and long dresses matched with clunky-heeled shoes. One fashion buyer summed it up as a season in homage to "a strong, sensual woman."

That female ideal was also on show at Lanvin, where Alber Elbaz garnered a standing ovation for a black and midnight blue collection of intricately-wrought dresses and pant suits.

"This time, the technique was more important than the color," the Israeli-American designer said after the show.


The close of the Paris shows ends a parade that started with men's wear presentations in Milan in January.

The cycle, through New York, London, Milan and Paris, establishes the trends for next season and provides vital inspiration for the world's biggest retail apparel chains from fast fashion stores Zara and H&M to Britain's Marks and Spencer.

Morease and Bikin fashion 2

At Vuitton, British Grammy winner Amy Winehouse did not perform -- as rumored by entertainment blogs before the show -- but there were plenty of other stars willing to take a front row seat for the fashion house's celebrity designer Marc Jacobs.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sofia Coppola, Dita von Teese and Shilpa Shetty were among those to see New Yorker Jacobs put on what he described as a show born of an American's passion for Paris.

"I adore Sarkozy, I adore Carla Bruni, the Eiffel Tower is almost in my garden. To me this was a vision of what a French fashion show used to be like," Jacobs told reporters backstage surrounded by television cameras.

While the show's style, in a white tent in the grounds of the Louvre, recalled fashion presentations in Parisian ateliers in the 1950s, Jacobs said the "strong graphic shapes" of the clothes weren't meant to reference any particular decade

Morease and Bikin fashion

"I find that sensual," he said. "There is an undone, nonchalant side that I like a lot."

The Paris shows were set to conclude with displays by designer Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin.

With the dollar hitting an all-time low against the euro, U.S. retailers have cut back their overall spending and homed in on pieces with a lifespan of more than one season.

Glenda Bailey, editor in chief of the U.S. edition of Harper's Bazaar magazine, said the distressed suits seen at Chanel earlier this week summed up the current mood.

"We want to have luxury, but we don't want it to be too overt. We want to look like it's something that is very personal to us," she said.

"The secret of next season really is all about personal style. It's about putting together a look which is right for you."

Bikini cool

Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens captured the mood with his autumn-winter collection for Nina Ricci, sending out artfully disheveled outfits in heirloom satins, velvets and silks.

Models ambled through a tent in the Tuileries gardens in deconstructed jackets over slim pants in rich shades of sienna, purple and gold.

Jacket shoulders were deliberately knocked back, while inset panels followed the body's natural curve.

"I wanted to approach each item in the collection like the ultimate standalone piece," Theyskens told reporters after the show.

For evening, he gave Empress Josephine a rock chick makeover, sending out Empire-line gowns in dusty flesh colors that split open in the back for a semi-undressed feel.