Cinema Takes Paris

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Published March 3, 2010

DRIES VAN NOTEN, LOOK 50; ANDREAS TARALIS, LOOK 6

Dries Van Noten must have friends at Paris’s city hall. The Hotel de Ville’s Salle des Fêtes, (dripping in gilt, statuary and ceiling paintings copied from Versailles’ Galerie des Glaces) where he had his show is virgin territory for fashionistas. Van Noten’s women struck a cinematic heroine pose—La Dolce Vita leopard spot jackets and Duchesse satin floral pouf-skirted cocktail dresses. But they also wore army combat pants, the baggy, olive drab kind that look like they’ve been moving through the spin cycle for years. Yes, the mix was unusual, kind of like Marilyn when she performed for the troops in sequins and a flack jacket.

Limi Feu, a.k.a. Yohji Yamamoto’s designing daughter, dropped her usual Pretty in Pink sweetness for a tough girl’s show complete with bird’s nest hair, whitened lips and heavy metal soundtrack. Beginning, oddly enough with a pair of bloomers, Miss Feu segued into knit capes, followed by fringe tunics. She kimono-ized and supersized tailoring, topped long lace skirts with mean studded leather biker jackets and finally rediscovered her cute side with a pair of suspenders in marabou feathers.

And Canadian Nicolas Andreas Taralis kicked off Paris Fashion Week on last night with a sledge hammer soundtrack to reintroduce his minimalist tailoring. Taralis, who cut his teeth assisting Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme, has slowly but surely built his business (Italian production and a growing list of stores) after stopping in 2007 for a brief stint at Cerruti. For fall, he has a thing for judo belts. In quilted black satin, they wrap around everything: sweeping capes, parkas and broad-shouldered jackets. Men’s tailoring is sharp and minimal and the ladies can choose to bare all in transparent tunics, or hang tough in black jeans with snaky zippers curling up the leg.