Luxury rules Paris fashion show

Luxury ruled the day at the Paris ready-to-wear shows, with a majestic collection for spring-summer 2004 dripping in gold from Louis Vuitton, soft glamour from Valentino and eternal chic from Hermes.

    Gold Finger: Designer Marc Jacobs gave his clothes the Midas touch

    Marc Jacobs abandoned the sweet pastels he used for his last summer collection at Vuitton, opting instead for a warmer palette in shades of bronze, brown, yellow and especially glistening gold in Sunday’s show.


    The US designer gave his clothes the Midas touch, sending out a zipped velvet top, a seductive lamé jacket with loops at the hem and flowing silk trousers that all radiated a gorgeous glow.


    For those not ready for Jacobs' gilded world, he offered classic white full-leg sailor trousers with a silky navy top, a peach belted cashmere sweater and satin shorts or flirty skirts in tiny prints - classy and timeless.


    The "LV" monogram appeared throughout the collection: in brown lace layered over white silk shorts, on a choker, in a pattern on the runway created by the spotlights, and of course on the label's coveted handbags.


    Next summer, the Vuitton maven will be carrying smaller monogrammed bags in canvas, suede or leather, with bright accents in turquoise, electric blue, peach or purple.


    Sumptuous cruise


    Jacobs ended the show with a shimmering ostrich coat and matching bag - a testament to the company's golden position in the luxury goods market.


    Valentino invited the fashion crowd on a sumptuous summer cruise to a tropical island paradise, evoking a carefree holiday spirit with crisp cotton separates for daytime, and slinky, flowing silk and chiffon for evening.


    Whether lunching in Saint-Tropez or partying in Ibiza, the jet-set always needs to look good, and the Italian designer is ready to help out: his girls will turn heads in short white shorts and tight navy sweaters or fitted jackets.


    After a relaxing dip in the pool, a chartreuse satin top, a long floral chiffon skirt that could double as a pareo and a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses will strike the right mood.


    Glamour and sex appeal are Valentino's specialties and he delivered, with models gliding down the runway in short silk and satin kimonos, mini-dresses and gowns in white, turquoise, fuchsia and his signature red.


    Butterflies are the key motif of next season: on airy chiffon skirts, bright tote bags, silver jewel-encrusted belts and wrapped around the ankle as the finishing touch on delicate stiletto sandals.



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