Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Designers spread the message of globalization

Designers from Singapore, Japan and around the world are showcasing their wares in France, the center of fashion

AFP , PARIS

Models show off creations from international designers presenting their Fall-Winter ready-to-wear 2004-2005 fashion collections, in Paris.

PHOTO: AFP

Younger designers bathed in the spotlight as a big week of luxury ready-to-wear shows for next fall-winter opened on Tuesday. Most designers were foreign-born, signaling fashion's

globalization.

The youngest was Belgian designer Bruno Pieters, 27, who showed in the Pierre Cardin building off Paris' Place de la Concorde, where the iconic modernist himself once showed.

Pieters' theme was inspired by the novelJonathan Livingston Seagull. Footage of flying, diving seagulls screened before the show almost turned some in the audience queasy.

But the inspiration and clothes were authentic. In shades like wintry cloud gray, deep indigo, sea blue and volcanic-rock black, they created a dramatic atmosphere.

The full, flared short coats and jackets could have been Cardin-inspired; same for the capelets and short boots with plastic over-covers.

But then ruffled short skirts came out with handsome cable-knit heavy sweater coats, plus tasseled scarves. All quite handsome and seaworthy.

Mohair toppers over ruffled skirts and other combinations looked good in this subtle but youthful collection. There were also some well-tailored outfits like a caped white coat-dress.

"Good collection, fine designer," said Andreas Hoyer, the co-owner of an exclusive boutique in Cologne, Germany. "I especially liked those sea colors and the wonderful knits."

Another Belgian designer, Jean Paul Knott, showed some laid-back looks in the Louvre Museum's Carrousel area.

This was nothing if not skewed, or asymmetric. Models came out in many draped sweaters, one shoulder bared, in good ribbed knits.

There were billowy silk bloomer pants, a fine outfit in navy silk shirt-jacket and cropped slim pants. The red-and-black jersey tunic and pants looked suitable for a Montmartre evening.

With a lovely short gray tailored coat, Knott reminded everyone that he once worked as a top assistant to Yves Saint Laurent, where classics were as important as trendy details or billowy pants.

Tailoring was also fine at Dice Kayek, a young Turkish designer. She obviously enjoyed showing a beautiful sea-green exquisitely cut double-breasted short coat, or the silk print dress in black and the same sea-green.

There was plenty of pink in the collection -- skirts, floral prints, teamed with gray. A dusty pink satin trench coat looked impeccable, as did a lean, charcoal trouser suit with streamers from the jacket belt.

Kayek went somewhat overboard with the satin and lace lingerie touches, not to mention a breast uncovered on one outfit.

Full sunpleated knee-length skirts, some with lacy crinolines, looked perky and recalled Doris Day styles of the 1950s or 1960s.

But why show short dresses and coats with dark bobby sox worn with high heeled shoes? It dampened enthusiasm for the more outstanding clothes.

Yohji Yamamoto showed his secondary "Y" line ahead of the pack Monday evening at the Modern Art Museum near the Trocadero.

It was practically all black and red, the familiar cutaway or formal jackets, with varied large red-black stripes.

The well-made jackets were often worn with sleek pants or layered looks.

Khaki-green trousers with cargo pockets and zips, many colorful cyclists' short jackets are perhaps fine for sporty types who want to wear Yohji. But in spite of fine quality, Yamamoto did not show much breathtaking novelty.

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