PARIS (AP) — The great return of iconic couture house Courreges dominated the second day of Paris Fashion Week as fashion editor and celebrity Carine Roitfeld designed a rather foxy collection for Uniqlo.
Here are the highlights of Wednesday's spring-summer 2016 Paris ready-to-wear shows:
The designs of Andre Courreges — who laid claim to the invention of the '60s miniskirt (along with Mary Quant) — are back on the Paris catwalk after decades away, in one of the most highly anticipated house relaunches since Schiaparelli.
Courreges' eponymous label once set the trends for stars like Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve who admired its ground-breaking geometry, plastic miniskirts, space-age silhouettes and futuristic textiles.
On Wednesday, in their first collection, creative directors Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant hoped to attract a new generation of fans.
And it was a great debut — that carefully towed the line between the house's '60s codes (minis, PVC, dropped hems) and a fashion-forward crisp and sporty aesthetic.
Cream cashmere bodysuits (that resembled a retro bathing suit) contrasted nicely with a PVC biker jacket in black, and elsewhere in vivid yellow and silver. And '60s oval-shaped colored minis were balanced with crisp white sporty sweaters.
Standouts in this focused show were geometric mini shift dresses and some enviable suede jackets.
CARINE ROITFELD CROSSES OVER
One of the world's biggest fashion editor names, former Paris Vogue Editor Roitfeld, has decided that enough is enough and designed her own collection for high-street brand Uniqlo.
The result? Very sexy, riffing off the 61-year-old former model's penchant for leopard print.
Coats in leopard, double breasted coats, open black shirts tied at the midriff and herringbone tweed coats will most likely sell like wildfire.
And a small, chic black sweater had a scooped neckline that was both simple — and sultry by exposing a flash of collarbone.
Roitfeld's collaboration with Uniqlo goes on sale Oct. 29.
Bold, decorative flashes of color was the added ingredient that Rochas' designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua used to set off the signature huge-volume styles that's made the house such a hit in recent years.
On Wednesday, all the colors of the rainbow were used in silky sheens in an oversized, double-breasted coat, or, after, on a '20s loose shift dress — riffing off the codes of the house founded in 1925 by the late Marcel Rochas. Giant bows came in burnt sienna, black and white and graced funky trapeze silhouette gowns. Pointy stilettos came with a large tulle puff in colors that each time mirrored hues used in the rest of the outfit.
Rochas has sometimes been compared to couture (or demi-couture) and in Wednesday's show it was clear why — an incredible gathered floor-length gown in pale oyster-white with a dropped hem possessed a ravishing swagger as the model moved. And one blush pink dress was constructed from cut-out bow motifs like a delicate exoskeleton.
DRIES VAN NOTEN'S RAW GLAMOR
"Sophisticated yet raw" said Antwerp designer Dries Van Noten of his vivid, mix-and-match collection Wednesday that twinned glimmering brocades, tulle, jacquards and satins with denim, vests and exposed conical bras.
The designer is known and loved for his sumptuous, yet alternative designs, which have graced fashion-conscious celebrities from Cate Blanchett to Maggie Gyllenhaal.
This season, he turned up the glamor stakes, with 1930s hair quiffs, shades and color-rich prints and jacquard that saw voluminous coats and skirts in vermilion red, teal blue, purple, soft umber brown, and beautiful ochre yellow in one dissected, fluttery tulle skirt.
The signature of Van Noten, one of the original Antwerp Six, is his play of contradictions. Here this abounded in droves — like one '70s jacket with big shoulders and lapels twinned with silken pants fastidiously embroidered with birds.
FOUR PIECE SWEET
A string quartet greeted guests at the center of Van Noten's warehouse presentation, playing throughout.
Like Van Noten himself, it was an offbeat style, with odd, often syncopated rhythms coming from the two violins, viola and cello — led by Romanian Alexander Balanescu.
The quartet came to relative fame when covering Kraftwerk, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman and went on to record and perform with David Byrne, Gavin Bryars and the Pet Shop Boys.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP