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Paris Fashion Week: Dries Van Noten opens the week on high note; Rochas and Giles Deacon look back

March 4, 2010 | 11:37 am
Dvn-paris-fall-2010 It was a wonderful start to Paris Fashion Week to see a collection as focused as Dries Van Noten's. The Belgian designer pared down the ethnic embellishment and Ikat prints of spring in favor of something more tailored and military-influenced for fall.

Standout pieces included a herringbone pants suit with darts pinching the waist of the jacket, fantastic utility pants with zippers or straps to cinch and taper them at the ankles, and a military flack jacket with gilded embroidery on the sleeves.

Not forgetting the feminine side of the fall season's masculine/feminine equation, there were also painterly blue floral print satin skirts in full, 1950s silhouettes, and the simplest gold lame dress with 3/4 sleeves that is one of those forever wardrobe building blocks.

Speaking of blocks, the block-heeled pumps looked very fresh in leather, satin, or most intriguingly, tweed.
Rochas-fall-2010 At Rochas, Marco Zanini's collection was a 1960s throwback, from the shoes up. At first, I thought the blocky toadstool-shaped heels were cool, but the more trouble the models had walking in them, the more distracting they became.

With "Crimson and Clover" on the soundtrack, teased hairdos on the models, flared pants and shirts with oversized wing collars in ice cream hues, the collection was a nostalgic trip.

But unlike Miuccia Prada in Milan, who used the curvy '60s silhouette as a way into a discussion about body politics, Zanini didn't add anything new or convince us why now is the time to look back.  

Giles Deacon did a bit of looking back too, constructing a look based on the pronounced bust and bum of the "Mad Men" era -- bustier dresses with flying buttress-like pleating accentuating the hips, and skirts rippling with cloud-shaped cutouts.

Giles-fall-2010 Scalloping on the hems of skirts mimicked the edges of clouds, as did the undulating panels of purple and gray lame on a great-looking parka. Puffy bomber jackets, one in a Creamsicle color, enveloped the models in pillowy softness.

The runway was painted with cartoonish happy and sad clouds, which made me wonder if Deacon wasn't also thinking about the storm ground that is the female form. After all, a woman never knows until she looks at herself in the mirror in the morning whether she is going to see happy or sad clouds.

--Booth Moore, reporting from Paris


More runway photos: Dries van Noten | Rochas | Giles Deacon

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Top photos: Dries van Noten's fall 2010 collection. Middle photos: Rochas's fall 2010 collection. Bottom: Giles Deacon's fall 2010 collection. All credits: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times