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Big shoulders and indulgent glamour mark the close
of Paris fall collections. : An Elegant Mix of Cultures
: Among the most elegant of Rosier's 110 outfits were
kimono-inspired dresses and blanket skirts lined with
antique silk kimonos in rich fuchsia and green orchid
prints. : He paired them with oversized jackets, giving
them warrior-like shoulders. Wide obi-style hip belts
in leather or satin completed the look; the belts were
also teamed with samurai pants that were worn with
hooded pullovers. : "For me, this collection is about
millennium dressing--the mixing of everything, including
cultures. That is the world we live in, a world that
should include all people," he said. : "You can get
a big ego doing this work. But the best thing I learned
from Kenzo is humility. Some designers and a lot of
young people in this business act like prima donnas,
and that is quite stupid. : "People can be very cruel
in this business. Sometimes when I go to fashion shows
I feel completely destroyed mentally. People behave
so badly, pushing and shoving their way into a show.
They go crazy. They act stupid. I think many people
in the fashion world need to get some humility." :
No fashion statement could be truer. : Michael Quintanilla
can be reached at michael.quintanilla@latimes.com.

Fashion Looks Ahead--to the '80s

March 06, 2000|MICHAEL QUINTANILLA | TIMES FASHION WRITER

PARIS — Weeks of international fashion fare--and fanfare--came to a close this weekend with designers putting their back-to-the-future stamp of style on the fall 2000 season. And, as the French are wont to say, the collections were magnifique.

With detailed tailoring from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, padded shoulders from Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, lots of fun from John Galliano and an eclectic ethnic-inspired debut from Gilles Rosier for Kenzo, the final fall collections signed off on a high note.

Yep, life is good in Paris.

Even the sun came out to play over the weekend after six days of nonstop pouring rain, restoring good old-fashioned joie de vivre among the 2,000 journalists, buyers and retailers from around the globe.

Mostly, designers here were all over the fashion map doing their own thing--make that the right thing--with new shapes, lots of color and ladylike elan. These can all best be described with one word: indulgence.

With one woman: Alexis Carrington.

With one decade: the 1980s.

Just think back to all of those fa-a-a-bulous little numbers from "Dynasty" (remember all that designer jersey and fur flying when Alexis and Crystal made like the WWF in a brawl over Blake?) during the deep-pocketed Me Decade. Now you've got a good picture of what is yet to come.

Of course, as the fall collections picked up steam, so did the looks, going from high glam to tough chic to a simple sensibility for a modern woman.

Lagerfeld, for one, aims to please the women with his youthful collection, shown Friday.

Each ensemble in the fast-paced show was styled to perfection, with accessories such as the new Chanel accordion bag, tights with the interlocking Cs logo and beige stiletto boots, some short like booties.

His clothes--in pink, fuchsia, violet, bordeaux, and black and white--danced on the catwalk as Madonna's "Vogue" beckoned the human hangers with the word--"ladies with an attitude" to "pose."

And freeze they did, allowing the audience to momentarily study skirts in quilted denim, feathers and furs.

Coats were tweed, knit and in trademark Chanel quilt with zip-away sleeves and deep cuffs. But the coolest idea was green denim that came in long coats, jackets and pants. One jacket had green denim sleeves and shoulders (think shrug) with the rest of the garment in distressed green leather.

It was decidedly different at Galliano, who took his audience into the world of little girls playing grown-up dress-up with a Thursday show that best could be described as style on steroids.

Models skipped down the catwalk in oversized heels, batting fly swatter-size eyelashes created with artificial flower petals. They cavorted in paper-doll cutouts and costumes--a frog, sea horse, chicken and an ostrich--made of painted cardboard.

A lampshade doubled for a hat. Teddy bears became brooches. Everything but the kitchen sink--wait, there was a cooking pot that was a make-believe beret--went into Galliano's spoof: humongous butterfly wings, yellow splattered paint on models' faces and painted-on mustaches and goatees.

And then there were the clothes--what you could see of them. A girdle was worn over a sheer kimono-styled gown, a cardigan sweater was buttoned over a tweed skirt like a skirt, a plastic raincoat was tossed over a pretty yellow flowered coat, and a tie-dyed T-shirt was worn under a tulle ballerina dress. A Japanese-inspired top and long, flowing floral skirt were worn under a football jersey with "Galliano" spelled out across the back.

Among the best looks: mohair plaid suits in bright colors, jackets edged in fur and a leather evening gown with a train.

But hey, enough fashion talk. Galliano's sendup was more about showmanship and performance art, about celebrating the deconstruction of fashion--and the sheer joy of raiding Mom's closet.

Somber Shades and Subdued Chic

The catwalks at Cerruti and Balenciaga, earlier in the day, were much more subdued.

At Cerruti, browns, blacks and grays dominated the runway for an almost funereal color palette.

Turtleneck sweaters in paper-thin knits complemented tweed suits with nipped jackets and rear-pleated skirts.

Chiffon tops, no larger than a paper towel, were held in place around the neck and back with silk strings.

For evening, designer Peter Speliopoulos had a light touch: white crystals on blouses, silver sequins on tops and sequined paillettes that looked like feathers over a flesh-colored chiffon skirt.

Ghesquiere for Balenciaga presented an imaginative variety of silhouettes that included lean trousers, pleated harem pants and zippered blousons.

Michael Jackson lovers, circa "Thriller," can get that V-shaped jacket out of storage. The designer resurrected that 1980s look in many jackets and coats.

But it was those quarterback shoulders that caught everyone's eye. They were loaded like a Raul Rodriguez float in Pasadena's Rose Parade: brocade, lace, shredded fabric scraps, fringe, fur, raccoon tails, even miniature mops. Really.

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