Health & Beauty | June 2008
|Macho Man is Going Out of Fashion|
Joelle Diderich - Associated Press
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Paris - As world financial markets wobble and bonuses shrink, the macho male is going out of fashion.
|Models wear creations by French designer Veronique Nichanian for Hermes, during the men's Fashion Spring-Summer 2009 collection, in Paris, Saturday, June 28, 2008.|
Paris designers showing their spring-summer collections on Saturday banished the tie and introduced a gentler take on masculinity, leaving the Gordon Gekko look in the dust.
With thousands of revelers pouring into the streets for the annual gay pride parade, French designer Franck Boclet proudly flew the pink flag at Emanuel Ungaro - but there was no message intended.
"I didn't even know it was gay pride day today!" he said. "It just so happens that fuchsia has always been Ungaro's signature color."
Boclet celebrated the house heritage with a shocking pink backdrop, but used the color sparingly in his collection.
After all, he made his name at Francesco Smalto cutting suits with a defiant swagger. Here, they were rendered in checked patterns with pants that stretched suggestively across the thigh.
As a result, a pink linen blazer seemed slightly adrift, though a purple cardigan top with a loose matching parka was a plausible option.
French actor Samuel Le Bihan, known for his tough guy image, said he had worn a pink T-shirt last summer but would not be repeating the experience.
"I tried, but I just can't do it," he said.
The Smalto image has loosened up since Swiss-Korean designer Youn Chong Bak took over the design reins three seasons ago.
Models lounged around an Italianate fountain in a chic mansion in her crisp cotton jackets paired with tailored cream bermudas, conjuring images of the spoiled millionaire Dickie Greenleaf in "The Talented Mr. Ripley".
Best of all were the waistcoats cut away in the front in the style of morning coats. These came in white linen with a tone-on-tone satin trim, or in a denim version slung over an unbuttoned white shirt.
"I think it's always more pleasant to see men who have attitude but nonetheless have a slightly soft side, because people are sick of machos," Chong Bak said.
That mood carried over to the Hermes catwalk, where the focus was on bare necklines with sailor-style sweaters that framed the collarbone.
This might seem like a bad move for a company famed for its luxurious silk ties, but French designer Veronique Nichanian provided plenty of alternatives.
They ranged from plain shawls worn loose over the chest to brightly patterned silk squares jauntily tied around the neck. The signature Hermes scarf even doubled as a cummerbund, worn simply over a white linen shirt and dark pants.
Alongside the catwalk shows, dozens of designers show their collections to buyers and editors in showrooms.
At the headquarters of Japanese label Issey Miyake, a video showed designer Dai Fujiwara and his team checking color swatches against plants in the Amazon rainforest.
Those colors ended up on outfits including a silk suit featuring dark stripes melting into olive green, thanks to a computerized weaving process. Casual options included a camouflage-patterned denim jacket with matching cut-off pants.