Bedroom chic rules Paris menswear shows

January 20, 2008 6:09:13 PM PST
Paris designers showcased casually luxurious outfits to take men from the boardroom to the bedroom Saturday, proving that dressing down has never been so chic. The displays by Emanuel Ungaro, Shawn Collins and Hermes, held on the third day of the autumn-winter men's ready-to-wear collections, were a welcome alternative to the glut of suits seen on the catwalks this season.

French designer Franck Boclet, now in his second season at Ungaro, loosened up the silhouette with dressing gown coats layered with long cashmere or fur shawls and tied with a slim cord.

"I'm going for a bohemian chic effect," he told The Associated Press. "The silhouette is elegant and different, that of a man who is slightly more mature, a bit more of a dandy and a bit more offbeat."

Though the looks were influenced by the gypsy style of Sarajevo-born filmmaker Emir Kusturica, the effect was sober and modern.

Coats were stripped of their lining for ease, but deep slits in front meant a man could easily reach his trouser pockets. Pants were either flowing and loose or high-waisted and slim.

At Shawn Collins, some of the models looked like they had just stepped out of bed. Knit tracksuit bottoms and chunky slipper socks were inspired by lazy Sundays spent reading the paper.

Since launching his collection in 2005, the Los Angeles-based designer has found favor among the film and music set by turning out casual clothes in the finest traditional fabrics - think cashmere hooded tops and crinkled plaid jackets lined with cream wool.

"I'm just trying to address the issue of modern dressing," Collins said before the show. "I don't really know anyone that wears a suit anymore."

Even storied French label Hermes was feeling the sportswear vibe. Alongside conservative suits in gray flannel or chalk pinstripes, it sent out a hooded jacket in supple brown crocodile leather.

Menswear designer Veronique Nichanian showed a light hand with ultrafine knits and sheer collarless shirts, topped with casually knotted silk cravats in the house's trademark silk twill.

Trousers included slouchy velvet pants and a pair of jeans tucked into thick ribbed socks and brown boots. A car coat made from foggy gray mink looked as soft as a baby's blanket.