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2011 Catwalk Report: Day 5

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Our eagle-eyed style director Adrian Clark has been seeking out more of the latest trends from the Paris Fashion Week and letting us know what's worth keeping an eye out for.

To read yesterday's report click here.

The first full day of shows in Paris started on a note of clarity from Viktor & Rolf Monsieur (second from left). Starting with the clean but beautifully formed basics that should sit in every man’s wardrobe, from a grey sweatshirt and jogging pants, a crisp white cotton shirt with white boxers and the perfect black suit, the collection cleverly built in momentum to include architecturally built coats in cappuccino coloured tweed or in sheepskin with an exaggerated funnel neckline.

The tailoring was beautiful, with blazers and trousers in checks that were ever so slightly mismatched in colour, blousons were layered over tailored jackets, while for evening a new take on the tuxedo saw bomber jackets, either in dense wool or satin replacing the traditional dinner jacket.

Alexis Mabile’s message was more youth cult inspired, using plaids for jackets and coats, worn with trousers that laced up the side of the leg. Fusing traditional tailoring techniques with experimental textured fabrics, the collection had an air of ‘punk revisited’ about it.

Rick Owens, who will never deviate too far from the new age Gothic approach to fashion that he has made his own, showed a strong collection of tailored pieces, the most statement-making of which featured trails of metal plates sewn in borders and edging the garments.

Louis Vuitton, designed by Paul Helbers, introduced a new collection of accessories to the Damier family of checkered leather goods. Damier Infini, is the first time that the iconic and signature graphic pattern has been used on leather (a soft calf leather to be precise) and also the first time it has been approached in a 3-dimensional way – it usually being a print on canvas products.

As to the ready-to-wear collection itself, Amish style was explored, inspired, Helbers says by a “hint of David Lynch’s strangeness”. A collection that was almost all black, bar some accents of motel neon sign reds and white, interest came in contrasting the texture of materials, using fabrics such as rubberised, matte Macintosh with metallic python and sun bleached wide whale corduroy.

Emphasis was placed on cut and construction, thus the monochromatic palette, so as not to confuse the message. But such subtlety can obviously also go the wrong way and was lost on this journalist, as man-clutches in monogram with oversized clasps and the beautiful jacket that opened the show, with pleats sewn down and left flaring at the hip and belted aside, it was in my mind unfortunately a little lacklustre.

Jean Paul Gaultier (far left) was on top form, showing his ‘James Blonde’ collection of tuxedo-for-day inspired tailoring, with scuba wet suits rolled down, ending in a liquid gold moment for evening.

Dries Van Noten (second from right) was the best show of the day, using naval dark blue and crisp sailcloth white as its predominant colour palette, for soft tailored trousers, belted coats and jackets that were lined in fur and turned back to reveal their softer side, and with gold naval officer braiding to decorate the more special pieces. One of the Belgian’s strongest collections to date.

Shockwaves Style Director Michael Douglas explains how you can get the look (far right) from the Louis Vuitton show:

This look is influenced by modern American rock and roll, and you need an “inverted” hair cut to achieve it (meaning it’s longer at the front). Apply Shockwaves Lightweight Gel (RRP £2.99) to damp hair and blow dry all the hair forward. Once it’s dry, apply Shockwaves Re-create Styling Wax (RRP £2.99) to the hair concentrating on the long fringe and sweep across the face.

www.pggrooming.com

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