The spring and summer fashion collections are going on show in Paris. The predominant mood?
The spring and summer fashion collections are going on show in Paris. The predominant mood this year is a swing back to simplicity after the ethnic styles that have dominated the last two years collections, but there are many colourful exceptions to the trend.
SYNOPSIS: Designer Paco Rabanne has kept the ethnic look alive for another season. This is a beach dress based on African designs. He has added a patriotic touch, emphasising perhaps the French general elections due later this year. Printed on the dress is a portrait of French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
Rabanne has, in the past, pioneered a futuristic look which appeared again this year. For evening wear, this dress in metallic tubes and golden discs salutes the popularity of science fiction. Worn with a matching head-dress and gold lame underdress, it is worlds apart from the evening look designer Yves St Laurent will be showing later this week. His accent will be on simple lines that accentuate natural body contours.
Today, around the world, only about 3,000 fashionable women wear clothes hand-made by the 23 haute couture houses of Paris. Mostly, their creations inspire the mass-production market. Only a rich, daring client could wear Rabanne's wedding creation with pearls and silver discs on a silver lame tubular dress.
Ethnic traditions as diverse as the Scandinavian and Chinese have inspired the designers, and this year Africa has given Rabanne some of his most exciting ideas. This folklore creation owes much to African tribal styles, with wooden beads on simple flax.