Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Boy George talks politics at Paris menswear, Dior goes dark

Models wear creations as part of Hermes Men's Fall Winter 2017-2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

AP LogoBY THOMAS ADAMSON

PARIS (AP) — Music maestro Boy George got political at Paris Fashion Week as Dior Homme went to the dark side, creating a hard, brooding fall-winter collection. Here are the highlights of Saturday’s menswear shows.

DIOR PULLS IN THE STARS, BOY GEORGE DEFENDS MELANIA

A demure and relaxed Paris Jackson dodged journalists as she arrived at the Dior Homme show in a black Dior perfecto jacket and stylish white pleated skirt.

The daughter of pop icon Michael Jackson vied for attention with music legend Bono, who dominated the front row in his customary shades next to LVMH fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault, owner of the fashion house.

But it was Boy George that did all the talking. The former “Culture Club” front man got political, defending new U.S. first lady Melania Trump against negative press about her former modelling career.

“You know what — as somebody who has a past — I think it’s really wrong and mean-spirited of women to be so abusive,” Boy George told The Associated Press from beneath an exuberant embellished hat. The fashion icon added that, in the Herve Pierre-designed inauguration gown, Melania Trump “looked amazing.”

The singer, who is gay, said people should “remain positive” about the next four years in the United States. Still, he lamented — with a hint of humor — that President Donald Trump didn’t mention the LGBT community — “or me” — in his inauguration speech.

DIOR HOMME GOES DARK AND EDGY

Designer Kris Van Assche went against the grain of Dior codes with resounding success, producing a hard-edged fall-winter menswear display that explored the darker side of fashion.

The decor of metal scaffolding, sinister booming music and interlocking planks of raw wood that served as a catwalk set the unusual mood. This was a stomping celebration of hardcore rave, rebellion and the street.

Glistening black leather gloves opened the Grand Palais collection, a signature of Monsieur Dior given a threating twist. Dark sneakers sported banding that was crisscrossed to look like bondage and plunging, dark capes completely enveloped the body.

Fur coats came in unnatural hues of flaming russet and cobalt blue and mixed with urban prints.

But the key to the collection might have been a sky blue ribbed knit sweater, worn on top of and almost imprisoning the Dior Homme bread-and-butter suit beneath.

Was this Assche’s way to signal his creative rebellion away from the sometimes-constricting house codes?

It was a strong and effective contrast with the peppered sartorial elements of the show, on which the house has made its name.

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SACAI GOES ECLECTIC

What do ponchos, duffel coats, bubble jackets, chiffon gowns, jeans, velvet coats, and bobble hats have in common?

Normally not a lot — but Sacai threw them all into the creative mix at their eclectic, imaginative menswear show Saturday at Paris Fashion Week.

One of Japan’s most lucrative fashion houses, Sacai has built a reputation for the avant-garde and quirky that was sealed and crowned for this fall-winter season. The eclecticism extended even to the palette, with gray marl, coral, celestial blue, metallic green, ruddy brown and vivid cadmium yellow among the diverse 47 looks at the show.

There were some great individual pieces, such as a square shirt in check with pockets and sleeves that optically distorted the direction of the lines.

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DESIGNER DEBUT AT BERLUTI

All eyes were on a highly-anticipated debut from edgy designer Haider Ackermann at Paris Fashion Week Friday night.

The artistic direction of Berluti — a bootmaker since 1895 that branched out into ready-to-wear only in 2011— has been closely watched by parent company LVMH. Company chief Bernard Arnault’s powerful son, Antoine, is CEO.

Ackermann’s new direction was a drastic make-over. Gone was the classicism of predecessor Alessandro Sartori and the trademark shoe wear. In its place, pointed boots and a fresh feeling.

Velvet suits, exaggerated layering and long soft color-infused coats — one in shimmering dry mustard — set the tone for the 37-piece-collection.

Under Ackermann, Berluti just got funky.

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HERMES CHANNELS BLUE

There were no surprises at Veronique Nichanian’s typically luxuriant menswear show for Hermes that this season channeled tones of blue and gray.

There is always a softness to the French stylist’s designs.

But in Saturday’s display Nichanian really flew with this idea — transforming a gray leather coat into something almost melted and malleable in the way it was softly gathered at the waist.

Black pants and black leather shoes served to put the clothes on the upper body on a pedestal.

Looks were loose but not bulky, with velvet and leather sections spicing up Hermes’ go-to classical designs.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K


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