Spring-Summer Shows Kick Off in Paris
Jul. 02, 2002
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PARIS (AP) _ Jean-Charles de Castelbajac kicked off a collection of cool menswear for hot weather with a playful boxing match near Montmartre, showing his clothes for next summer on models sparring in the ring.
They wore multicolored sweat or T-shirts, cargo pants, bright satin knee-length shorts and robes. A couple of female models lounged on the ropes in bikinis with stars on the tops and sequined bags attached to the bottoms.
``But naturally, this was for fun,'' said Castelbajac's assistant, Marie-Chantal de Beaufort. ``We'll sell these clothes, but also casual jackets, jeans, suits and coats for street wear.''
Last weekend was full of clothes for desert or beach chic, plus a few nods to suits. This was a moment to sell; retail is not exactly flourishing in these hard times, so salable clothes are in order.
Jean-Paul Gaultier did produce a remarkable show with an androgynous moment. Was the model a man? A woman? Both turned up in look-alike outfits. The striking costume of the day was a suit of lights, a jumbled pastiche of a matador's outfit. Under a wildly colorful T-shirt and vest, the tight pants were turned down at the waist over green tights and thong sandals. Underwear was showing, as it did in many Gaultier outfits.
There were also plenty of denims, pedal-pushers and good linen shirts, meaning that these clothes could sell.
Yohji Yamamoto went into his customary clever detail: black trim for large-cut gray suits, with interesting flying lapels and extra tulle lapels on top.
The Christian Dior show by Hedi Slimane was a hit. Fashionables applauding were Pierre Berge of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's designer.
They saw pants slung low at the hip, leather blousons, bare chests. Scarves, ribbons and chains _ silver, on the backs of jackets, looped on belts _ were the main accessories.
In the iridescent silk evening suits the lean, anorexic styles were perfect for a young, hip crowd that has punch rather than paunch.
Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent was also applauded for a collection that included some slick double-breasted suits for office types. The suits were worn without shirts, for a cool look. The cut of jackets and rather wide pants had a 1930s Fred Astaire allure, with double vents in the jacket backs.
Black and white _ Ford favorites _ were predominant throughout the show, but cafe au lait and mocha shades came up in bermuda shorts, sometimes buttoned to off-shoulder T-shirts. There were lots of tank tops with spaghetti straps.
Ford also showed fascinating versions of desert jackets. With gathered, stretch waists, the jackets were khaki-green suede, with mottled or tie-dyed appeal.
At Thierry Mugler the mood was Lawrence of Arabia. Models slogged through a runway covered with 30 tons of sand in the old Stock Exchange building.
Designer Jean-Luc Testu (who took over from Mugler last season, though Mugler will keep on with women's fashions) did an about-face. Instead of Mugler's usual colorful and sharply-cut styles, here were desert types.
They sported long white tunics or djellabas, in beige or celadon colors, with many wide khaki or white cotton trousers. There were also brown sleeveless vests, drawstring beachcomber pants, desert jackets full of pockets, and short pilots' jackets. Discreet touches of jewelry _ silver or gold designs for the torso or bracelets _ added a shiny touch to the desert tableau.
At Lanvin, Christophe Blondin Pechabrier did a fine job with the cool Somerset Maugham tropical look for summer, in wonderful linen suits or just pants with voile overshirts, shades of celadon and gray linen in easy outfits for warm climates.
Dominique Morlotti, who left Lanvin to keep up his own line, was seeing red, in satiny hot red shirt-jackets, and plenty of black leather. From the red leather maxi-coat to the white linen shirt and straight cotton pants, the clothes were comfortable and wearable.