Summer was in the air in Paris menswear collections with white roses and lashings of colors. Meanwhile, fashion-conscious NBA player Amar'e Stoudemire spoke to The Associated Press on the trend to fuse sportswear in ready-to-wear. Here are the highlights from Dior Homme, Kenzo and Balmain's debut menswear show.
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It was a walk among the flowers for Dior Homme, who unveiled its new collection in a labyrinth filled with several thousand white roses.
The garden theme was appropriate enough setting for a spring-summer show, and brought home the house identity: Monsieur Christian Dior famously loved blooms.
Guests, including actors Boyd Holbrook and James Franco's actor brother, Dave Franco, stared out in delight — and normally-retrained fashion editors were seen stooping down to get the best photo of the scented spectacle — reflected back with huge mirrored panels.
But the flowers were also a metaphor for the collection.
It started out safe with bread-and-butter dark slim suit styles, which, as the collection progressed, germinated into camouflage print on lozenge tank tops and on shirts, where it was contrasted with abstract squiggles on a shirt.
And then the collection bloomed.
A vivid red car coat appeared, bright white jeans, and a statement dazzling yellow coat with large collar in crocodile leather.
The touches of color were bright, bold and perfect for the metrosexual summer man.
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE TALKS SPORTS IN FASHION
All 6'10" (2.08 meters) of Stoudemire have stood out quite prominently in Paris fashion week this season — with the NBA player attending numerous shows including Balmain Saturday.
Stoudemire, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, is no stranger to the fashion scene and has attended Paris menswear weeks twice before — as well as having collaborated on his own fashion line.
He said it's great that more and more sportswear is being seen on the ready-to-wear catwalk, like in Givenchy's use of basketball top silhouettes or Balmain's use of baseball caps.
"I love fashion. And it's a sign of creativity that brands are mixing sports in their designs, like Givenchy," he said, at the Balmain show.
"I think in the last five or six years, collaborations with sports and fashion have really taken off — like my sporty collaboration with (designer) Rachel Roy in womenswear," he said.
Stoudemire sat next to fellow NBA star Serge Ibaka, who plays for Oklahoma City Thunder.
KENZO'S AMERICAN SPACE WORKSTATION
Was the dusty, bolder-filled decor of Kenzo's show evoking a rocky U.S. landscape, or a planet in outer space?
The spring-summer collection's funky designs — which took American factory worker styles and gave them a space age spin — pointed to both.
A buttermilk yellow jumpsuit with hoops, drawstrings on high-waisted workers' pants — mixed with a prickly 3-D sweater and assorted pants in ochre that looked like an extra from Star Trek. It had a fantastic texture, and was one of the show's best looks.
Tassles and drawstrings on slim ochre jackets added the necessary utilitarian details for the ever-cool designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon.
But the collection was also a display of Kenzo's talents as colorists, with a beautiful series of patchwork collage garments, like an enviable striped coat and jacket that was worn tucked — of course — inside the pants.
BALMAIN'S MENSWEAR DEBUT
Balmain's menswear debut was all about discovery.
First, was a journey of inspiration for 29-year-old designer Olivier Rousteing on how to translate his designs — which have garnered great attention in womenswear — for a male clientele.
And, second, Rousteing's starting point on this creative journey was — rather literally — voyages.
"This guy is exactly how I am. Someone discovering the world as an adventurer, trying to find new treasures," he said.
Safari-infused colors of ochre began the show in a stylish leather jacket, warm khaki army shorts, and a cap — that looked part safari, part baseball.
And the colors of the earth that proceeded — brown leathers, stone, ochre yellows and ochre browns — continued evoking this impression of a man walking the land. Accessories like backpackers' bags, and high sandals — were almost fit for a desert trek. Multiple layered looks — with satchels, belts, lapels, and pockets — also felt like the Balmain man would be well-protected to weather the elements.
Rousteing is lauded for his exuberant female designs and fastidious embellishments. This menswear debut captured this, but perhaps could have benefited with the designer bringing the detailing down one notch for the more sober male audience.
That said, the best look in the show, a voluminous stone jacket, belt, boots and cotton sweatpants drove the perfect line between exuberant and masculine.
WOMENSWEAR AND MENSWEAR
Since the days of Coco Chanel, and then Yves Saint Laurent, fashion has been about blurring the lines between male and female.
One of the new trends in Paris Fashion Week is to have female models walk the catwalk in menswear shows, alongside the male models.
This phenomenon started as a regular fixture when Riccardo Tisci took over as designer at Givenchy seven years ago — successfully highlighting the androgyny in the Italian's designs.
And now it pops up all over the place, including in Saturday's Balmain show, where 12 female models were spotted, sporting couture-like gowns with baroque detailing.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP