Coming up

Don't miss




Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more


Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more


2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli special forces attack Hamas base inside Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more


Colours put a smile upon your face


Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-01-26

On the final day of the men's shows, Paul Smith and Walter Van Beirendonck are banking on bright colours. Van Beirendonck's collection is about total fantasy, whereas Smith aims to make people feel happy.

AFP - A chill wind of economic reality blew into the four-day Paris men's fashion shows winding up Sunday as designers went for the wearable to weather recessionary times for Autumn/Winter 2009/2010.

Like the crowds of almost universally black-clad fashionistas attending the 46 catwalk presentations, bleak black emerged as the outstanding colour through the long designer frenzy held on the heels of the Milan men's shows.

"There is more meaning than usual," said Jean-Jacques Picart, 60-something consultant for the world’s most powerful luxury firm, LVMH, plus a bevy of other brands. "There is creativity here, but the real world too has been taken into account."

Consciously slumming it or not, top-end luxury house Louis Vuitton unveiled its collection in the down-at-heel district housing the onetime Paris morgue, recently converted into an arthouse as part of a rehabilitation scheme.

Funky woolly caps and sneakers signed by rapper Kanye West -- watching in the front row -- gave Vuitton's finely crafted and highly-technical tailoring a downmarket streetwear style appropriate to times of doom and gloom.

Known for his love of ethnic designs, fine fabrics and layering, designer darling Dries Van Noten this week moved on to graphic cuts, sturdy materials and a clearer silhouette in suits and coats with belted waists.

Another big classical name, the house of Ungaro, possibly looking at a wider market, discarded the elegant straight trousers or pants with tucks that once epitomised a banker's elegance.

Like many designers showing this season in Paris, Ungaro's Franck Boclet instead went for leg-hugging tight pants (and jeans) sliced above the ankle, mixing and matching jackets and pants rarely throwing out monochrome suits.

Lanvin, also a watchword for elegance, avoided the black that dominated many shows in favour of a wide palette of dark but softer shades, but also shoved pants into lace-up boots and thick woolly socks.

There was a barely a tie to be seen throughout the shows, but Lanvin's Lucas Ossendrijver designed a woolly grey one that faded into oblivion with a woolly suit and coat in the same shade.

"You have to try to be optimistic at the moment," said Ossendrijver. "And you have to listen to what people need."

Thick woolly garments, suggesting snug comfort amid the economic chill, featured in several of the Paris shows, with Japan's Yohji Yamamoto rolling out a huge long shapeless cardigan in thick knit over a huge almost as long shapeless sweater.

In far more elegant style came bright sit-up yellow knits in cashmere from luxury luggagemaker Hermes -- which stuck to its classic narrow trousers, pleated narrow trousers, and even wide trousers for the fast-disappearing golden boys, or more stately-shaped bigwigs.

Pants looks set for a revolution, with that other icon of discreet elegance, Yves Saint Laurent, ditching long trousers in favour of low-crotch pants cut halfway down the calf and worn over leggings.

Wearing short pants over long pants or thick virile leggings popped up time and time again, with Kenzo too tucking leggings into boots.

Dior meanwhile in a sharp-lined black-and-white collection took a distinctive tack with wide wide baggy pants and flyaway stiff shawl collars on shirts.

"These are times in which to be optimistic and awaken people's desires, I mean should you take a pill or buy a jacket?," said Lanvin's artistic director Albert Elbaz.

"We could've gone for a very sombre dark collection but believed we needed to be optimistic."

Date created : 2009-01-26