Manish Arora’s spring/summer ’10 collection at the rouge-tinted Crazy Horse cabaret off the Champs Elysees lived up to its theatrical surroundings. Models glided onto the stage three at a time via a conveyor belt dressed in crystal and cluster sequin dresses caged in matching exoskeleton. As dramatic as this mis-en-scene sounds, it was actually one of Arora’s most sedate and sophisticated showing to date when it came to the clothes. Standard issue short dresses and pencil skirts gave way to the innovative surface features such as prism-like geometrical prints, metal chains, Swarovski crystals and various appliqués. It was all used in measured doses, down to the group of knits that looked at once perforated and appliqued.
Meanwhile over at A.F. Vandevorst, An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx had their own bit of drama going on, jolting us with the reminder of the fetishistic powers of stockings. Nylons doubled up and were pulled to the knee in a few jacket-only looks, while full-on hose were yanked up to meet an exposed corset top fashioned from stiff cotton canvas or geniusly pulled up over silky sheer leggings. The belted short trench coats cinched at the waist by gorgeous three layer stacked leather belts, soft tailored sheer jackets and several transparent tops and long dresses were stunning, but one couldn’t keep the eyes trained to the seductive stockings.