On the third day of Paris Fashion Week, Kenzo's stylist Antonio Marras inspired by "great mother land" Russia, Franck Boclet avoids austerity, France's Ungaro redefines male elegance.
AFP - Suggesting men wear skirts is definitely not a new idea on the men's fashion scene, but at this week's Paris men's shows the classic trouser is taking more than a beating.
Excepting luxury house Hermes, which Saturday offered up a bevy of classic narrow trousers, pleated narrow trousers, and even wide trousers ideal for the dying breed of golden boys or more stately-shaped bigwigs, man's pants may be heading for a revolution.
Take that other icon of discreet elegance, Yves Saint Laurent, for example.
Showing the label's latest designs at the four-day Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 Paris shows, Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati threw away long trousers in favour of low-crotch pants cut halfway down the calf and worn over leggings.
Wearing short pants over long pants -- perhaps to keep out the cold in the harsh economic times on the horizon -- seemed a popular idea that also highlighted the show by Japan's Yohji Yamamoto of worker-inspired grunge-like cuts.
Kenzo men's stylist Antonio Marras was like-minded. Parading a collection he said was inspired by "great mother land" Russia, models strode the catwalk in thick leggings tucked into boots, or very creased-looking trousers not fit for a job interview.
Another big classical name in men's style, France's Ungaro, also did away with the elegant straight pants or pleated pants which once epitomised male elegance.
That may be hardly surprising as the fashion industry looks ahead to tough times and mirrors consumer demands for simplicity rather than ostentation.
Instead, trousers from the house's designer Franck Boclet hugged the body like jeans, were sliced off above -- sometimes well above -- the ankle and often folded over at the bottom in a kind of casual-looking cuff. And many of Ungaro's pants worn under stylish jackets in fact were made of denim.
There were tight pants too at Louis Vuitton, while Belgian designer Kris Van Assche, who as the shows wind up Sunday presents his collection for Dior, also went for leggings. Rick Owens, the US "grunge glamour" king showing for the first time in Paris, likewise cut some of his gothic-style pants off at mid-calf.
As for skirts, the designer best known for proposing skirts for men, France's wild "bad boy" of fashion Jean Paul Gaultier, put plenty of his models in skirts worn over pants, or even just simply kilts -- while thumbing his nose at gender dress codes by throwing women on the catwalk in pants.
And Dutch designer Francisco Van Benthum, also a newcomer to the Paris shows, threw pleated aprons over pants.
But the best in the new androgyny may have been John Galliano's man in underwear, sporting a pink suspender belt and stockings.
Date created : 2009-01-25