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PARIS MENSWEAR: Kanye West, gorilla fur hit Paris

January 17, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Fashions fade, controversy and celebrities are eternal. This mantra was on full display at Friday’s fall-winter 2014 menswear shows in Paris — with Will Smith at Maison Martin Margiela, rapper Kanye West hobnobbing at Givenchy and a prominent fashionista causing a stir because she wore a real gorilla fur coat.

Here are some key moments and tidbits from the day.



When rapper Kanye West turned up to Givenchy showing his sensitive side in an on-trend knee length rabbit coat, it set off a storm of paparazzi flashes.

West, who police say is being investigated for misdemeanor battery in Beverly Hills, came without his partner Kim Kardashian. Though he refused to talk to the media he was relaxed and smiled as he took his front row seat at the show designed by his close friend Riccardo Tisci.

He chatted with Swedish actress and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” star Noomi Rapace in black before the show began, next to stylist Carine Roitfeld in a luxuriant multicolored fur coat.



In a mock up sports court, ever-creative Tisci mixed up basketball with the Bauhaus to produce a smart but more low-key menswear collection than in previous seasons.

From behind a mesh, guests looked on to an empty basketball court with fluorescent piping marking out the lines on the floor.

A scoreboard was placed above the entrance where the first models started to walk out.

Tisci’s signature street wise-yet-elegant looks took on the design of a basketball and abstracted it in curved lines on baggy, tailored pants, with double pleats in gray and black.

Shirts and thin sweaters too were printed with the curves and lines of basketball court markings.

Stoles in muskrat and opossum fur hung down and were banded like towel made to absorb a sportsman’s sweat.

But the show’s creative slam dunk was when the sporty patterns morphed into the abstract circular shapes and lines of the early 20th-century Bauhaus movement, which included artists Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky.

Tisci continues to be one to watch.



Rabbit, chinchilla, astrakhan, mink and snow fox has all been seen in Paris. But gorilla?

American-born fashion icon and blogger Diane Pernet caused a stir by attending fashion week, incredibly, in a real gorilla fur coat.

After a photo of the black ankle-length vintage coat with long, black hair was tweeted on the @AP— Fashion account it went viral Thursday and prompted strong reactions in the media. In an interview with The Associated Press, Pernet she said she was shocked when she woke up to anonymous hate mail.

“Maybe I should feel uncomfortable wearing this coat, but I don’t because I know the gorilla’s been dead for 80 years,” said Pernet, a vegetarian.

“I’m not into killing animals for vanity’s sake. But I don’t feel politically incorrect wearing a vintage coat. I think you’d call that sustainable fashion,” she added.

She added that while she felt fine in Paris wearing the coat that was given to her by a friend, she always avoided wearing it in New York, where people look on the issue more harshly.

Gorillas are an endangered species, whose use for fur is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, passed in 1975.



South Korean designer Juun J. took the high-waists, pin stripes and broad shoulders of the 1930s and 40s film noir gangster and supersized them.

The show’s title was Zootsuit, referring to the tight-cuffed, pegged trousers, long coated style popular within the African American, and Italian American communities during the 1940s, and similar to the British Teddy boy.

Exaggerated collars and tubular arms mixed up in leather pants or a huge flat velvety knee length coat. But there was a perhaps an over-indulgent use of black.



John Galliano Homme is an aerodynamic man in a competitive world.

Galliano designer Bill Gaytten tackled the oversized torso-skinny legs silhouette trend inventively using biomorphic leggings, big puffas in burgundy and black and billowing cycling blousons.

Oversized jerseys were aerodynamically curved in a circular shape.

But Gaytten didn’t forget the artsy-touches such as the varied palette — what the program notes painstakingly describe as “cider yellow,” ″midnight violet” or “dawn blue” — nor the signature Crombie hat.

It was a great show with a sleek finish (line).


Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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