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PARIS: Lanvin's pitch-perfect menswear collection of romantic-yet-rugged suits and billowing trenches wrapped up Paris' fall-winter 2010-2011 displays on a high note on Sunday.
The label remained true to its uniquely personal vision, serving up looks that the chicest of Parisians would choose for an Alpine jaunt, or just about any occasion for that matter.
Paul Smith delivered more of the dandified-yet-rock 'n' roll suits that have come to define his very British brand; and Paris-based designer Josephus Thimister made his "grand retour" after a year-long absence with the season's first couture show —which included starkly beautiful cocktail dresses and evening gowns with a sprinkling of military-inspired men's looks.
Other shows on Sunday included the Paris debut of the United Arab Emirate's Khalid Al Qasimi, whose Qasimi label was on-trend with its chunky sweaters while forging its own path with Mao-collared dress shirts embellished with drop pearls.
France's Romain Kremer added a welcome dose of science fiction weirdness, with neon orange sunglasses that swept upward into a forehead panel and parkas covered in tiny rubber tentacles that shook as the models walked, like the grasping of coral's phalanges.
Emanuel Ungaro, the storied but struggling French label, presented a collection of sports coats fitted with fine metal wires that allow them to hold their shape, and luxury sweatpants in cashmere with clever origami closures instead of drawstrings.
High-end sweatpants and long johns emerged as the fashion-forward man's legwear of choice for next fall. Labels from Louis Vuitton to Jean Paul Gaultier and Belgium's darling of the critics, Dries Van Noten, paired slouchy leggings with razor-cut blazers to create the sartorial variation of the mullet: Business on top, couch potato from waist down.
Comfy pieces were big winners, in general. Snug, grandpa cardigans were layered under and at times over suits that were sometimes sheered of their fussy buttons in the name of comfort.
Footwear, however, was another story. Chunky mid-calf boots, from combat- to motorcycle-boots, dominated Paris' runways — often with slim cut trousers tucked into them.
Most designers worked in a somber palette of black and charcoal, with some oatmeal thrown in for good measure.