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When it rains it pours and at Kenzo we were told a story of water, that is to say Creative Director’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created a collection with all the components of water. The collection was clean, the cuts either clinical or flowing delivered a show that was altogether a soothing addition to Paris for spring.

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Oxblood red begun, this season, with an undoubtedly sinister approach from designer Christopher Kane. His differentiation from last seasons elegance boiled down to lacquered fabrics, adding a dense shine, depicting connotation of fresh blood, nothing here was conservative. Outerwear came in the form of full-length coats, opened of course, to reveal cut out cropped bustier tops in dominating black leather. Contrasting to this was Aquascutum, again following in form with outerwear this oxblood was far more demure, dull even. Boxy, turned down collars framed full-length coats with buckled cuffs and a patent leather trims.

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This season we’re looking at oriental brocade, embroideries and prints. Both here in Europe and across the pond there has once again been a vast Eastern influence in many designers’ collections. From Jason Wu’s Ming Dynasty warriors to Proenza Schouler’s Samurai inspired take on ‘protection’ this season saw an integration of Eastern influence reformed and redefined by its Western aesthetic.

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Ask anyone caught up in Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris on Friday 20th January what they witnessed and the answer might prove to be a bit of an understatement.

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Damir Doma took us back and forth this season with a clever mix of prehistoric references intertwined with classic staples in a show that catered for the luxe life.

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No frogs presented themselves at Lucas Ossendrijver’s menswear collection for the French house Lanvin this season. Instead a modern day Prince toyed with a variety of heavy prints and romantic angles.

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A romantic movement set the scene for a Rick Owens show like no other in the raw underground setting of the Palais de Bercy complimenting, once more, the conceptual take Owens adds to functional inspiration.

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It’s hardly music to my ears when someone tells me their profession is modelling. Half the time those who proclaim it from the rooftops pay for their experience, have never once walked the catwalk and declare they eat only to survive. Needless to say it was a breath of fresh air to sit down with up and coming male model Joe Ingham in between his castings at Paris Fashion Week to talk about the real world of male modelling and boy was he down to earth.

Joe in William Richard Green for Dazed

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Creative director Nicola Formichetti’s new menswear collection demonstrated a darker play between designer and body as veiling and draping both encapsulated and revealed the human form. As observation and curiosity grew it was easy enough to allow the exclusive preview of Lady GaGa’s new song from the unreleased album, Born this way, to over shadow the velocity of talent and heritage tradition Formichetti displayed. The new creative director of Mugler certainly stayed true to Mugler’s keen interest in the human body and demonstrated a beautifully dark array of tailoring and veiling.

Sharp angular cuts kept the menswear masculine whilst exaggerated veiling and elbow length latex gloves gave way to an obscure and unconventional silhouette. The face of the A/W ’11 show lay with tattoo decorated male Rick Genest, as his inside-out body art was decorated in a single breasted suit jacket with leather torn jeans and laced black boots. Mirrored panels also lay as under shirts to Mugler’s navy suits creating constant contrast.

Other models showcased an array of traditional tailoring in blossoming oranges and tamed navies partnered with wide, free flowing draped trousers which pinched snug around the ankle to form a thigh loose appearance. High collars that engulfed the neck led way to chiselled jaw lines framed with embroidered pearls  working their way from shoulder to shoulder, again draping elegantly down a backdrop of nude and navy.

Cropped torso jackets also emphasised the male figure as the torso lay bare on show whilst layered shawl collars trailed down into long-sleeved blazers and loose fitted cuffs. With Nicola Formichetti having no previous design experience, instead coming from a solely styling position, the angle to which the designs took were true to that of Mugler himself as body formation was explored through a range of tailored fits and exaggerated head braces.

To accompany the vision of Anatomy of Change the show featured a short fashion film into the vision of fashion and the human body. A genderless undertone shone from the film which was directed by fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco. The film exposed the vision of fashion as a frame-work around a body made up of something more staple and static as Mariano Vivanco expressed fashion as an enhanced branch of the beauty we possess under our very own skin.

photo credit: Jac & Jill

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