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Dior rebuilds Paris in a spectacular Fashion Week show

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PARIS (AP) Dior took over the iconic Place de la Concorde in Paris for a menswear fashion show Friday whose theme was none other than the city of Paris itself.

Inside an annex, fashion editors joined the front row, including Naomi Campbell, to marvel at the dramatic decor of the heritage homes. He created a life-size Parisian bridge, filled with fake birds and fake water lapping below via a plasma screen, just for the 15-minute collection.

Here are some highlights from the men’s fall-winter 2022 shows.

DIORS CITY OF LIGHT

Paris Fashion Week is back from its virus-induced slumber. At least that’s what some front-row fashion editors said upon seeing Dior’s elaborate reconstruction of the Alexandre III Bridge, with its giant three-dimensional gilt-bronze horse statues and staff-holding nymphs under which models had to bend down. Million dollar sets like this haven’t been seen in seasons.

In pastel hues that reflected a winter’s morning, models meandered around the Parisian view, past the iconic image of the Pont Neuf and the Musée d’Orsay while a recording by house founder Christian Dior on the meaning of fashion echoed in the lobby.

In terms of fashion, the beret – that quintessential Gallic symbol – has made a fall-winter comeback for British designer Kim Jones. This normally soft Parisian staple has been reimagined in a structured form, evoking London-native Jones’ Saville Row couture. It was one of many examples of Dior’s Parisian styles with a clever British twist.

Marking 75 years since Diors New Look changed the face of fashion in 1947, Jones said he delved into the archives to work on the house’s original styles such as the Bar jacket that curves at the waist. Here for men, the Bar silhouette has been given a very British makeover, tailored but constructed intentionally sloppy and loose in patterns such as the Glen plaid. These tailored styles were never buttoned up but infused with a street vibe, gray sneakers with messy laces or white pants with elasticated hems.

LUCIEN IN PARIS

One of the stars of TV hit Emily in Paris, British actor Lucien Laviscount said he felt like he was dripping in Dior dressed by Jones to attend the house’s menswear show in Place de la Concorde .

Fresh off the success of his role as season 2 lover, British banker Alfie, Laviscount says visiting Paris for Fashion Week meant my feet didn’t touch the ground. This is my second time in Paris. To come back, I feel humbled and honored.

Lost for words in front of the decor of the emblematic Parisian bridges, and almost as excited as the journalists who interviewed him, all he could say was wow… It’s Lucien in Paris!

As to whether the Yorkshire-born actor will return for season 3, that remains a tantalizing mystery. Am I coming back? … Were in talks, he said.

THE ART OF INVITATION

The age of email and growing environmental awareness don’t seem to have left much of a mark on the fashion industry’s antiquated invitation system. Season after season, gasoline-guzzling couriers criss-cross Paris to personally deliver invitations that are always elaborate, often handmade.

Big houses compete for the wackiest or most imaginative idea that often bears a clue to the theme of their runway collection.

Details of Jil Sanders’ show were printed on a huge white balloon hidden inside a box while Loewes’ invitation, a three-metre pink silk satin ribbon, unfurled in spectacular fashion from a small metal cylinder.

Still, Louis Vuittons was perhaps the most inventive men’s season: twin multicolored toy peaks on a pole with the house’s monogram running from top to bottom. It symbolized the childhood obsessions of the late designer Virgil Abloh, who died in November.

JIL SANDER IS A MINIMALIST

Jil Sanders’ husband-and-wife designer duo Lucie and Luke Meier were in top form on Friday for a typically pared-down presentation for the Milan-based brand.

Since 2017, they’ve continued in the minimalist vein of house founder Jil Sander, who stepped away from the creative helm but whose designs once gave her the nickname Queen of the Least.

In the American Cathedral in Paris, guests sat on Friday evening around a large, ribbed luminous balloon possibly referring to the upcoming Chinese New Year. The fashion brand has announced that it is celebrating Chinese New Year with a six-piece capsule collection.

Clothing had a nomadic edge, with minimalist ethnic headwear and clean, wide proportions in statement coats. The color palette was limited. The frills of the clean aesthetic included white tops crafted from white floral-like embroidery that transitioned into scarves, and myriad black detailing in another choker.

Leather boots and flashes of leather lapels shone in the ecclesiastical setting.

PAUL SMITHS CINEMATIC MODE

At the heart of the fall-winter exhibition of fashion icons was the evolution of cinema from the era of black and white to technicolor and ending with contemporary cinema.

Cinematic daydreaming has been a springboard for the 75-year-old British designer who has earned a reputation for his bold use of color, notably at his neon pink flagship store in Los Angeles.

Monochromatic nickel gave a lovely shiny quality to a loose double-breasted coat reminiscent of the pre-war film era. Sepia, the reddish-brown hue associated with monochrome images of early cinema, was evoked in loose printed corduroys and an emerald green leather jacket evoked early Technicolor.

Still, the movie theme felt a bit lost on many of the other models shown on Friday.

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