Briefs: Paris Fashion Shows End on a High Note

Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 12, 2007 | Go to article overview

Briefs: Paris Fashion Shows End on a High Note


The Paris ready-to-wear shows ended Sunday with a celebrity- packed show at Louis Vuitton, a critically acclaimed display from Lanvin and a poetic collection at Nina Ricci.

The displays capped a diverse week with competing trends. While some designers fell for bright prints and fit-and-flare dresses with full skirts, others drew from men's fashion with no-frills tailoring in somber shades.

Stars including musicians Kanye West and Courtney Love pressed into the Vuitton show, held in a tent in the courtyard of the Louvre museum where models paraded in flashy outfits inspired by U.S. artist Richard Prince.

American designer Marc Jacobs has propelled Vuitton to the top by asking contemporary artists to customize its trademark monogram bags. For next spring, he sent out totes and handbags featuring bleeding stains of color and sentences lifted from Prince's work.

Clothing carried on the half-dressed theme that Jacobs explored with his eponymous line in New York last month. Sequined skirts mixed with gauzy layers of lilac, pink and blue tulle.

Men's underwear styles expand

Questions of fashion in men's underwear used to boil down to a simple line: boxers or briefs? These days, you could add a few more: animal print or camouflage? Jock strap or thong?

Just take a look at papi, a Miami Lakes-based underwear maker that showed off flashy colors, camo prints and bright yellow and red -- gasp -- thongs during Miami's recent fashion week.

As men have taken a bigger interest in their appearance, even the humble boxer has not been immune to innovation. For that you can thank Calvin Klein, the designer given credit for introducing the first designer underwear brand -- still going strong on its 25th anniversary.

"Underwear is a $600 million business for Calvin Klein, and it's a double-digit growth," said Patricia Edwards, retail analyst for Wentworth, Hauser and Violich. The brand is even focusing on rolling out underwear-only stores.

But with Fruit of the Loom and Jockey remaining the top sellers, are men ready for some truly creative looks down under?

"We are really looking for the young confident guy who feels good about himself, who doesn't want to wear what everybody else wears," said Alan Zelcer, President and C.O.O of Isaco International, which owns the line.

And many men have taken an attitude toward undergarments that might have sounded unmanly a few decades ago.

"I do wear fashionable undies and fashionable socks all the time," said 27-year-old David Crespo, of Hialeah. "It's about your attitude for the day."

French women enjoy skin-care ritual

One woman's skin-care routine is another's beauty ritual.

American women tend to see skin care from a clinical point of view, while French women often consider their time at the vanity in their toilette as a pleasurable part of their day, says Beth DiNardo, general manager of Darphin US, the American branch of the Paris-based cosmetics company. …

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