Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Balmain are ladylike on day 3

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PARIS (AP) - First it was Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo who played with men’s clothing in the 1930s. Then came Yves Saint Laurent, who in the 60s made it fashionable for every woman with the masculinity of “Le Smoking.”

Ever since this time, menswear for women has been inescapable on the Paris catwalks _ a sure sign of breaking taboos.

But in Paris on Thursday, the third day of fall-winter 2013-14 ready-to-wear, some collections were different. They made no apologies about being feminine.

Nina Ricci looked to balletic style, featuring sisters playing live piano; and Balmain adorned women in jewels.

While Lanvin’s message was clear _ the 20th century is the story of feminine glamor.

Could this be the start of the fightback of ladylike style?


Designer Alber Elbaz took the Lanvin guests on a typically encyclopedic journey for fall-winter.

The Lebanese designer’s imaginative show in 52 diverse looks saw references that spanned from the furs of the 30s, the satins of the 40s, the full skirts of the 50s _ right up to the inflated sleeves and shoulders of cutting-edge trends.

Several satin looks even fused the flora and fauna of the garden, with dragonflies, moths, beetles and butterflies.

With the myriad references, it’s little wonder several of the model worn gold necklaces with featuring the word “help.”

There were some sublime furs, dip-dyed jackets and the seemingly endless boas really conjured up pre-Second World War glamor.

If one thing Elbaz used to hold this all beautifully together it was this: femininity.


Balmain went to the Far East for fall-winter, and came back with a Siamese princess and half the crown jewels for the Paris house’s luxuriant ready-to-wear display.

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