updated 25 Mar 2009, 15:25
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Sun, Mar 22, 2009
Urban, The Straits Times
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Fashion funhouse
by Noelle Loh


The labels: Jeremy Scott, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Alexander McQueen

Take a leaf from the children's classic Alice In Wonderland and enter a world of whimsy.

For American designer Jeremy Scott and Moroccan designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, the world is as weird as it is wonderful.

The always outrageous Scott drew inspiration from Minnie Mouse and created red swing coats and body-con dresses with cut-outs to resemble her signature polka dots.

Castelbajac, meanwhile, paid tribute to the Muppets and printed Kermit the Frog and pals on knit tops, satin skirts and gloves.

Redefining the concept of faux animal fur, he created a coat out of Kermit plush toys.

At British enfant terrible Alexander McQueen's show, things took a darker turn as models trotted out with their faces painted white and lips enlarged to resemble clowns from every child's worst nightmare.

The clothes, too, had a perverse streak. There were tweed suits, nipped-in jackets and full skirts, all signatures of brands like Chanel and Dior but given McQueen's touch of mayhem. The exaggerated or rainbow-speckled houndstooth prints and oversized coiled collars were more parody than mimicry.


The labels: Louis Vuitton, Balmain and Jean Paul Gaultier

What better time than now to return to the 1980s - best known for its fun and frivolous fashion - for some much-needed industry cheer?

Louis Vuitton's creative director Marc Jacobs led the retro revival at his show last Thursday with his leather and lace Material Girl-inspired collection.

Hot pink bras peeked through sheer beige knits. Dress silhouettes echoed the style of 1980s prom dresses in the form of cute satin numbers with mini bubble skirts.

Elaborate, couture-style ruffles, ruching and sequined detailing made a potentially tacky collection tasteful.

Then, of course, there were the shoulders - big, bold and square.

The exaggerated shoulders look were also reprised by Jean Paul Gaultier and Balmain.

Gaultier put the block shape on body-con dresses and handsome suits.

Balmain's collection, meanwhile, had a disco diva groove with its heavily sequined sheath dresses with ruffled collars and hems.


The labels: Valentino, Miu Miu, Dior, Christian Lacroix and Chanel

Animal activists would have bayed for blood looking at the luxe coats on the Paris catwalks, such as Valentino's fox fur-trimmed hemlines and turquoise feathered coat.

At Dior, the fur of choice - astrakhan, the fleece of prized Karukal sheep - went on hats and hems.

The trend-setting Miuccia Prada even put fur on heels and scarf edges at Miu Miu.

However, there were more animal-friendly frills found elsewhere - chiffon camellias and French maid ruffles at Chanel, faux floral stoles at Lacroix and bunny ear-like headbands at Louis Vuitton.

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

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