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Posted: March 01, 2017

Nicki Minaj holds up H&M as patterns, prints hit Paris shows

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AP Fashion Writer

PARIS —

A tardy Nicki Minaj held up H&M's fall-winter evening show that ended on a stirring note with a performance by The Weeknd. It capped a dizzying day in Paris.

Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week saw deconstructed clothes, blown-up prints, and contrasting patterns shake up the runways at the VIP-filled collections of Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela and Lanvin.

Here are some highlights:

LANVIN'S NEW TONE

There's been a dramatic change in tone at Lanvin since Bouchra Jarrar took over the creative reins from Alber Elbaz last year.

Slim-cut jackets, menswear python chain boots, and — gasp — pant suits have all been injected into the house's nostalgic DNA of uber-feminine, diaphanous and glitzy gowns.

The results have been mixed.

Jarrar has added a down-to-earth vibe to the ready-to-wear designs that has lessened the dreamy romanticism associated with the Elbaz years. But the sense luxury and sophistication has not been completely lost.

Contrasts were the order of the day Wednesday in a show that emphasized frothy neck detailing and Victorian silhouettes.

A coat in bold chevron motif fur contrasted severely with a pale pink mirror satin slip dress.

While, a long striped tweed coat jarred with the soft sheen of a slip dress in ivory mirror satin.

Their intentional — but stark — textural polarity might not be a hit for everyone.

But they were finely executed.

___

LANVIN'S FRENCH STARS

French cinema icon Isabelle Adjani caused a stir as she arrived at the last minute at Lanvin's show.

The 62-year-old star — who gained international fame for movies such as "Camille Claudel" and "Diabolique" as well as two Oscar nominations — slipped into the Hotel de Ville show venue, perhaps hoping to be hidden behind her turban and shades.

But the accessories didn't fool the photographers.

To a flash of cameras, she took her seat opposite the former soccer player and "Elizabeth" actor Eric Cantona, 50, who declined to speak to the press.

___

MAISON MARGIELA SNIPS AWAY

It was snip, snip, snip for John Galliano.

The Maison Margiela designer took to the classic wardrobe with couture scissors for an inventive show that pared down garments to their bare essentials. The opening look — a traditional stone trench coat — was cut away at the chest into a heart shape to evoke the silhouette of a bustier dress.

If there was one leitmotif, it was found in the blown-up prints, polka dots, faux snakeskin and checks that littered the runway.

The vertical lines on a plaid check on a patchwork coat were frayed into tassels — the textile itself deconstructed — which seemed to mesh with the tousled, frayed hair of the runway model.

Elsewhere, varsity coats were turned inside out with the hidden rough hems exposed in a feat of deconstruction.

___

VAN NOTEN'S CONTRASTS

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, a lover of flowers and of Eastern styles, fused both passions together in the show Wednesday — resulting in a contrasting fashion symphony of color and kinesis.

And this was all served up on the designer's signature oversize and loose silhouettes.

A voluminous coat with a red rose motif was optically overlaid with Asian-looking geometric circles. Elsewhere, thin stripes that evoked the material of a Japanese kimono were punctuated with bright blue semicircles, and capped off with contemporary blue denim jeans.

Asiatic satin sheens shimmered past guests.

And it this weren't enough, luxuriant colored fur trim was thrown in — onto coat lapels and sleeves — to ensure that this collection was one of the most vibrant seen so far this season.

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SAINT LAURENT PARTIES

Celebrating designer Anthony Vaccarello's sophomore outing for Saint Laurent, the Kering-owned fashion house hosted a glitzy celebrity-filled soiree that ran into the early hours Wednesday following the collection.

Model Eva Herzigova, 43, and actress Zoe Kravitz, 28, led in the glamour stakes wearing outfits with plunging necklines to the Le cabaret Paradis Latin venue.

Other VIPs in attendance included Jane Birkin's daughter Lou Doillon and filmmaker Gaspar Noe, who all were treated to a live performance by French band "Rendez-Vous" amid the venue's metal and neon installations.

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MENS' AND WOMENS' WEEKS BLURRED

More and more Paris houses are choosing to showcase their mens' and womens' designs during the same show. And it's causing a certain amount of head-scratching among diligent fashionistas.

During menswear week in January, Saint Laurent for example forwent a mens' collection — and instead showed a speckling of mens' designs during their womenswear show on Tuesday.

Kenzo went the opposite way, and showed all their mens' and womens' fall-winter 2017 designs back in January.

So for Wednesday's allotted calendar catwalk space for womenswear, the French house had to get creative. They held a Syrian-themed sit-down dinner by chef Mohammad Elkhaldy, who escaped the Syrian war to Paris.

A fashion presentation that traced the rich history of the house founded by Japan-born Kenzo Takada in 1970 was also included.

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Thomas Adamson on Twitter: ThomasAdamson_K@twitter.com


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