PARIS — As the fashion spotlight moved on from Milan — things heated up in Paris menswear, but mainly due to the sweltering weather that left celebrity guests uncomfortable on the front rows. Among them were singer Joe Jonas and former One Direction star Zayn Malik.
Here are the highlights from Wednesday’s shows, including Valentino, Raf Simons and Lemaire:
VALENTINO MIXES COUTURE WITH JEANS
It was “a multicultural style concept” for Valentino who based its show on the experiences of a world traveller. The result was an eclectic mix up of couture with jeans, Hawaiian shirts, military and sailor looks, traveller’s sandals and sneakers. At times, it worked with panache.
The soundtrack inside the storied manor house Hotel Rothschild was Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” anachronistically set to orchestral strings. And the contradictions continued in the clothes.
A red brown jacket with studs on the seams glittered ’70s, nearby a Latin American poncho style and a series of enviable black coats with multicolored ethnic motifs that showed off the unbeatable craftsmanship of the Valentino ateliers.
SWELTERING CELEBRITIES INCLUDE JOE JONAS AND ZAYN MALIK
Paris is not famed for its use of air conditioning — and Wednesday confirmed this reputation as temperatures hit 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 Fahrenheit).
Security guards were rushed into the Valentino show as guests — including Jonas and former One Direction star Zayn Malik — sweltered inside the conservatory windows. The large French windows were thrown open to reveal an exotic garden, and save the VIPs, some of whom were desperately fanning themselves with their show invitations.
Rather fittingly Malik sported a new summery, bleached blond hair style.
At Lemaire, it was not much better. Guests might have to wait for Thursday morning’s Issey Miyake show before cooling down — the house has handed out fashionice-packs in previous seasons.
RAF SIMONS SHRINKS AND EXPLODES
There’s always a playful element with “intellectual” Belgian designer Raf Simons. In Wednesday’s great, ever-inventive show it came in the concept of shrinking clothes, and then blowing them up.
Super-shrunk colour-rich sweaters — often with several layers — looked they’d been put on the wrong machine cycle — some even exposing a midriff. (If it’s fashionable these days for girls, then why not for boys?)
Coats in statement green and yellow, were then exaggeratedly oversize with the sleeves blown up too long.
Then there were the gargantuan bags, sometimes in bright colour, that looked like they had been stolen by Jack and the Beanstalk. The huge bag chain strap that dragged funkily by the model’s feet.
LEMAIRE’S ASIAN-INFUSED SOFTNESS
Christophe Lemaire channeled soft, unstructured looks that have dappled the Milan catwalks in a saleable spring-summer collection. The softness came in broad, flat jackets with zippers opening at the bottom, long neat apron-like coats, and loose high-waisted pajama-style pants.
Gentle, too, was the soft palette of navy, ochre, blue grey, pale yellow and buttermilk — nicely riffing of the pared-down white decor.
A touch of playfulness was to be found in the monochrome shoes, with an emphasized toe.
Again, for the designer so popular in Asia — there were speckling of Asian works wear influences, and round Asian collars.