Continued from page 1

That seemed a shame, because Gaultier has often cast amazing looking nonprofessionals in his shows and he could surely have found plenty of curvaceous beauties for the job. Plus, a serious debate on the industry’s obsession with skeletal girls is long overdue.

VIKTOR & ROLF

The pair morphed the oversized boyfriend’s button-down shirt into little cocktail dresses, paired them with shorts and cropped pants and stretched them to the size of a pup tent. One shirt, cropped to the model’s midriff in the front, reached ankle length in the back, where it billowed like a superhero’s cape.

The button-down also featured prominently on other Paris catwalks earlier this week, including Dries Van Noten and Maison Martin Margiela, where it was worn oversized as a dress or tied around the waist as a skirt.

Viktor & Rolf also continued their experiments with volume, which last season saw them pile all the looks in the collection onto a single model, Russian stacking doll style. The volume this season was concentrated in the shoulders, towering merengue-like constructions that would have been hard-pressed to make it through a standard sized door.

The series of short white cocktail dresses in bridal-gown satin and lace that closed the show had several maxi-puff sleeves stacked on top of on another to create volumes that would make even a Texas prom queen circa 1985 feel grossly inadequate.

SONIA RYKIEL

Knitwear’s reigning queen consolidated her ironclad grasp on upbeat, high-end knits, with a rainbow of color-blocked sweater dresses and jumpsuits that were flirty and fun with a naughty edge.

Clingy ribbed tank dresses were knit with trompe l’oeil bustiers or bras for an innerwear-as-outerwear effect. Knit overalls were cut wide through the legs, with nothing but strategically placed straps covering the torso.

There was a slightly 1980s feel about the collection. Perhaps it was the shirt dresses with extra-wide sleeves and obi belts _ which made the girls look like Christie Brinkley decked out for a visit to Tokyo _ or perhaps it was just the girls’ frizzy oversized hairdos.

Whites and neutrals have dominated the Paris ready-to-wear shows, but Rykiel _ one of the last independently owned Paris labels _ bucked that trend, sending out saturated salmon, chartreuse, yellow and other jewel tones.

This happy, easy collection ended, as Rykiel shows tend to, with a model mob hamming it up on the runway, holding hands and blowing kisses to the photographers.