- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Actor Robert Pattinson took center stage at Dior Homme’s menswear show in Paris that celebrated the styles of Britain’s iconic retro club, The Haçienda - against a theatrical fairground backdrop that had celebrity attendees gawping. Kenzo, too, paid homage to legendary retro clubs in a show dedicated to the flamboyant styles once worn at New York music venues.

Here are some of the highlights of the spring-summer 2017 collections.



Pattinson, who has successfully moved in a more mature direction since starring in the hit “Twilight” franchise that grossed over $3 billion worldwide, is now a veritable asset in the serious, high-fashion industry.

The film star, who rocked a black Dior Homme suit with a funky asymmetrical cross motif to myriad camera flashes, was chosen as the face of the Dior Homme fall-winter season this year, after being featured as the face of the house’s fragrance since 2012.

His former co-star Kristen Stewart, meanwhile, has been treading a similar path in both cinema and fashion, and features as a face of Dior’s rival house Chanel.

Rap star A$AP Rocky was spotted on the front row, alongside actor Michael B. Jordan who also wore a black Dior Homme suit that matched Pattinson’s look. It made for a dark contrast to the luminescence of the gargantuan multicolored structure.



Designer Kriss Van Assche explored the daring-styles of the attendees of the iconic Manchester club Haçienda, known in ‘80s Britain for its role in the rise of rave and acid house music.

The show’s decor, myriad swirling black metal bars speckled with lightbulbs, added a surreal, almost eerie, air to the collection - channeling the kinesis of an imagined fairground, and perhaps even the atrium lights of the Haçienda club itself.

It made for a fresh and impressive spring collection.

“I am interested in a synthesis of generations and filtering subcultures through my own lens to tell a new story,” Van Assche explained.

Van Assche pushed the envelope on his obligatory plays on the suit, Dior Homme’s forte and signature that’s sometimes a designer’s creative cage.

Suits rebelliously broke free from their traditional shapes - a way to “warp perceptions of formality,” according to the program notes.

Kinky-looking harnesses, masses of dangling red rope, eyelets, naked arms and staples all boldly subverted the two-piece suit.

They were delivered mainly in black with contrasting flashes of burnt umber, slate, white and olive stone.

The welcome mold-breaking was also felt in the fusing of bright sportswear marking on dapper silhouettes.



Kenzo’s workaholic creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon presented two-collections-for-the-price-of-one for spring-summer and rolled both the menswear and the women’s “resort” styles together on the runway. Balmain did the same on Saturday.

Merging collections is becoming increasingly popular among houses, with some expressing concern at the frenetic pace of the modern fashion industry.

Cruise or resort collections - mid-season shows - were originally conceived to target wealthy women who travel on cruise ships in winter.

Nowadays, they’re used as a lucrative means of re-stimulating fashions in the mid-season lull.

Givenchy is another example of the trend. The storied house is now presenting its menswear and haute couture collections together, after having stopped making couture presentations altogether for several seasons.



Retro nightlife was also the inspiration for Kenzo’s spring show, which was probably the most fun guests have had so far in Fashion Week.

The designers stepped back in time to ‘70s and ‘80s club life to celebrate the myriad New York venues that created legends, such as Manhattan’s Sound Factory.

Attendees were tapping their feet contagiously to many of the tracks such as Musique’s 1978 hit “Keep on Jumpin’.”

The outlandishly colorful show merged the soundtrack and clothes seamlessly.

Sporty cropped high-waisted shorts mixed with jackets and bomber jackets - in intentionally-clashing color-blocked hues of blueberry and neon yellow. The designs were inspired by the styles often worn by artists on the covers of vinyl records from the era.

Tectonic patterning evoked the busy, and sometimes brash, looks of the retro age. It was of course delivered with more than a hint of irony from Lim and Leon - with fun plays in proportion on oversize shirts and dresses.



Could color blocking be officially back in vogue?

The trend that went stratospheric a few years ago, only to disappear, was featured in Kenzo’s collection, and later in Veronique Nichanian’s evening show for Hermes: a highly influential Paris house.

Color-blocking is the style of using opposites on the color wheel and twinning them in panes of contrasting, or complementary color.

Vivid titanium yellow jackets, T-shirts and pants were all blocked with tastefully contrasting hues of lilac, smoky black, caramel and golden brown.

The styles deliberately draw the eye in, so they need a certain level of confidence on the part of the wearer.

It was also ubiquitous in the 2016 resort collections.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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