Stars turn out for swansong of Louis Vuitton designer

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2018 2:52 PM
Stars turn out for swansong of Louis Vuitton designer

PARIS (AP) — The celebrity allure of Paris Fashion Week was at its height Thursday as notables from the worlds of sports, film and fashion attended the swansong show of Louis Vuitton designer Kim Jones.

Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2018-19 menswear shows:

VUITTON DESIGNER'S LAST ACT DRAWS VIPS

The stars were out in force to bid farewell to Jones after Michael Burke, Vuitton's chairman and chief executive officer, confirmed he would be departing the fashion house's menswear division after six years at the helm.

When Victoria Beckham arrived solo at the Palais Royal show venue, dressed in a beige menswear coat and oversize bellbottoms, that alone was enough to trigger mayhem.

But that was little in comparison to the frantic scene that ensued the moment she was joined by her husband, David, in a midnight blue Vuitton sweater, and their 18-year-old son Brooklyn in a jazzy red Vuitton-branded shirt.

Soccer player Neymar then pulled up and sent paparazzi leaping to get close to the stars.

During the show, there were screams of delight as supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell strutted down the catwalk in sexy monogrammed rain coats for their final ode to the influential designer.

It's not known where Jones will be headed — and Versace has not confirmed reports they held discussions to bring him on.

David Beckham, a personal friend of the 38-year-old British designer, came to see him off.

"I can't wait to see what he's going to do next," Beckham said. "But it's been an amazing journey for him."

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VUITTON'S CONSTANT VOYAGE

Exploration and travel were the touchstones in Jones' sportswear-influenced collection, inspired by aerial photos of the Kenyan landscape.

The images, taken from a helicopter, appeared as swirling prints and kinetic motifs on dark navy bombers, or on flat-fronted organza hunting shirts and sporty leggings.

The colors of rocks — slate, granite and sandstone — influenced the collection's masculine palette, which was shot through with the brights of rock climbing attire such as neon yellow, orange and silver.

Adventure was at the heart of this fun show that had big hiker boots stomping down the runway.

References spanned from the Wild West (a gray cowboy hat) to Siberia (an intarsia mink coat.)

Jones said it was about "discovering something new. A constant voyage."

He could have been referring to the collection — or perhaps his personal journey, wherever that may take him next.

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ISSEY MIYAKE GOES URBAN

Issey Miyake has been known to travel to the Arctic and the far-flung natural world for fashion inspiration. But on Thursday the Franco-Japanese house didn't stray far from home — channeling the urban environment.

It may have been a smart thematic way to stay on-trend with the utilitarian work wear mania stomping men's runways of late.

A utilitarian mac with zippers and toggles, notable for its voluminous proportions and twinned with white sneakers, was colored in a Renaissance-worthy carmine pink. The house designer Yusuke Takahashi always mixes in a gentle touch.

The show demonstrated why Issey Miyake is known as a techno-fabric-loving brand — several designs had an intentional "scrunched" effect owing to stretch tape stitched along the body.

A messy-looking oversized suit in gunmetal, described as "wearable without ironing," looked useful for those who need to get to work without having enough time to prepare. The model himself had slightly wild hair.

Stripes and bright colors punctuated what was a rather tame display this season.

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RICK OWENS' GREEK MYTHS

Designer Rick Owens used his funky, grungy menswear runway show to explore Greek myths.

Primitive-style fabrics in rough camel hair flannel and double-knit cotton were fashioned in slashed and almost-Biblical frayed silhouettes. The collection was inspired by the arrogant King Sisyphus, who was condemned by Zeus to roll a boulder up a hill and down forever.

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The story was, said Owens, a lesson that it's easy to fall into "unhealthy cycles" in real life.

"Does this mean unhealthy cycles and base urges are an integral part of the human condition?" asked the designer-cum-philosopher. His 40 designs, which relied on layering, seemed to answer Owens' rhetorical question in the affirmative.

Huge lapels on an unstructured rock-colored coat unfurled as if they were being yanked open, above bare legs. While some white tunic looks evoked an inverted blown-up sleeve, slashed sections seemed to hint that the garment had been damaged by the impact of a boulder or by a long perilous journey.

Chains that descended down some bare chests over nipples evoked bondage but other designs included covered-up looks — huge paneled statement coats — as Owens wrestled with opposing instincts.

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DRIES VAN NOTEN'S CHECK

The Belgian master of menswear Dries Van Noten explored check patterns and prints Thursday evening for a dapper and sartorial collection — with a hint of madness.

The silhouette was oversized — long square-shouldered coats and baggy sweaters twinned nicely with blown up check in tartan, Nashville and traditional styles that captured the trendy and playful edge.

The program notes said the collection was about "taking time honored codes of menswear to a restrained extreme."

This could be seen in one luxuriant and classic staple — a silk gunmetal-colored shirt that was jazzed up with multicolored flower motifs down the torso.

Classic gray check pants were elsewhere paired with a shimmering gold shirt in a joyous marbled pattern. (That motif was attained using a historic marbling technique usually reserved for paper brought to fabrics — a sensitive detail typical of Van Noten.)

This wild shirt was stiffly buttoned right up — in a good example in how the collection sagely towed the line between the traditional and the wacky.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K