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Fashion and an eco-revolution

Latest update : 2008-02-27

Fashionistas might salve their conscience as they consign last season's clothes to landfill, knowing that they are biodegradable.

The mood decreed by designer Dai Fujiawa for next autumn-winter lacked some of the usual exuberance. The house signature pleats and sculptured silhouettes came in a subdued palette of chestnut, wine lees and shot purple. A bright yellow nylon coat, an intricate confusion of ties and folds, was a ray of sunshine against all the black.

Best pieces included easy knitwear, big cardigan coats swishing at the calves, ribbed and frayed like laddered stockings, and silvery sleeveless puffa jackets with necklines filled with scissor fine pleating and lightweight jacquard, even used for matching boots and bags.

All the more curious then that Jean-Paul Gaultier chose this season to go big on fur, not calculated to endear himself to the eco-conscious worried about endangered animals.

The ageing 'enfant terrible' designer defended his overwhelming use of animal pelts to the press after the show, saying "I love fur. I have always used fur," revealing that sometimes it was farmed, but sometimes reworked and modified from old coats.

His collection was stuffed with fur, both real and fake, including leather and suede printed to look like fur, with a plethora of fox-heads, genuine and not, in the finale.

French design duo Marithe and Francois Girbaud firmly established their eco-credentials with an innovative material made from corn fibre, which they whipped up into origami-like layered petticoats cut by laser with star shapes, the cosmos and constellations being their underlying theme for next winter.

They reinvented jodphurs by shifting the volume from the hips to the front and back, like a mini bustle, and partially unzipping them at the knee.

Low-slung pants were cut very wide, held up by shoestring leather braces, also used on the front of double-breasted coats, while the default footwear was strappy motorcycle boots.

Belgian designer Veronique Branquino went for a refined, sophisticated, even austere look with her show, which was full of classic camel, grey flannel and luxurious mohair, but given a modern twist.

Fake leather leggings brilliantly updated what could have been staid camel coats and two-pieces, while glove fine leather jackets with a metallic sheen were paired with intricately pleated skirts, glazed with silver or bronze and the odd flash of turquoise.

Stand-out pieces reflected her meticulous attention to detail, like the mixing of knife and sunray pleats down one side of skirts, or the gathers used to shape the shoulders of coats.

Date created : 2008-02-27