PARIS MENSWEAR: Lily Allen rushes to Louis Vuitton
Jan. 16, 2014
PARIS (AP) — Menswear shows in Paris ramped up Thursday with A-list displays by houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten and Issey Miyake.
Here are some key moments and tidbits from the day's jam-packed line-up.
LILY ALLEN'S LIPSTICK
In a world where celebrities are styled to within an inch of their lives, it's refreshing to know that Lily Allen still does her own make up. And rather publicly.
The Grammy-nominated British singer sat front row at the Louis Vuitton show alongside Will Smith and "Blood Ties" actor Matthias Schoenaerts in full view of the fashion crowd.
But that didn't stop the plain-talking singer from doing an eleventh-hour touch-up of her make up with the aid of her iPhone as a mirror.
She told The Associated Press she'd been in a rush to get to the show.
"I just got in from South Africa, and I'm only here for three hours," said Allen wearing skinny jeans and a black jacket embroidered with sequins and paillettes.
"Of course, I'm wearing Louis Vuitton," she added, smiling. "But I did the lips — badly."
Allen is a long-time friend of menswear designer Kim Jones.
IT'S THE BAG, STUPID
Louis Vuitton's fall-winter menswear 2014 show was all about the bag.
The world's most famous check pattern, the Damier, was unveiled along with the Eiffel Tower for the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889. And some 125 years later, it's finally been given its first revamp: Being transformed from the famed brown into a vivid, modern cobalt.
The Damier Cobalt canvas featured in Jones' slick show in a travel bag and clutch.
The bag's blue tint seemed to infuse the clothes themselves in a sumptuous cobalt and turquoise alpaca coat, or a cobalt mohair and silk striped pant.
Jones said that Louis Vuitton's show was inspired by NASA images of the world from space, and aerial photographs of sites such as the mountainous Inca city of Machu Picchu.
The backdrop of the show, held inside a sweltering conservatory, was a giant hand-painted image of South America's Atacama desert salt lakes as seen from above.
The colors from these aerial shots of caramel, beige, gray, black and blue were channeled in the clothes.
Snow shades, sporty zippers, studs and hoods on winter parkas with chinchilla lining, as well as hikers' boots added to the feeling of extreme nature and trekking.
"Our collections have always been about travel," said Jones.
The Issey Miyake show was also about extreme nature. Designer Yusuke Takahashi used batik resistance dye with wax in tones of red, blue and yellow to evoke a fountain of volcanic magma on jackets, knee-length shorts and leggings.
Meanwhile, a double-faced knit poncho was partially hand cut for movement and to mimic — so say the program notes — "rough and eroded fjords." There were some nice effects, but some of the styles seemed disparate.
RICK OWENS' BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WADING
Following on from Raf Simons' exaggeratedly-sized cartoon shoes, Thursday saw Rick Owens lead the pack in creating the most outlandish footwear.
At a show overlooking the Eiffel Tower, each of the 40 looks sported gargantuan knee high boots in black, tan and gray that resembled waders used by river fishermen.
Protection and hiding were a running theme, with bullet-proof jackets, and protective headdresses.
It was one of the strongest and coherent shows Rick Owens has produced. But it raises the question who is the designer protecting himself and hiding from?
VAN NOTEN'S TECHNO-FOP
Designer Dries Van Noten fused the codes of an historic dandy's attire with deconstructed patchwork and techno colors.
Models sported streaks of bright pink and red in their foppish side parts, billowing foulards were served up in electric blue or lemon alpaca, while high-collared ruffs jarred nicely with double breasted overcoats in vivid tie and dip dye.
It's a style the program notes smartly described as "techno-fop."
The multitudinous layers, quilting and rich velvets, however, made sure that these 48 looks felt more like high luxury than a sweaty rave.
It was Van Noten at his anachronistic best.
Fashion designers often borrow and recycle ideas from art.
Croatian-born designer Damir Doma is no exception, using 1960s "Arte Povera" as a starting point for his simple, pared-down show.
The Italian artistic movement sought to fight bourgeois excesses, going back to basics in using simple materials like sheets of iron or plastic, wood and cracked earth.
Doma's show featured homogenous veined cotton jacquard that resembled rough steel, and paper-like origami folds in tailored jackets.
There was an on-trend smoothness in the 28 looks, especially in one excessively long, hanging gray coat that looked like it had been melted down the skinny model's torso.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP