Crisis lesson for Paris fashion: sex sells

Wed Oct 7, 2009 3:32am EDT
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By Sophie Hardach

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - If you've got it, flaunt it and sell it: that was the message at Paris fashion week as collections teemed with lacy stockings, bra straps and exposed knickers.

Garter belts -- real, worked into dresses or painted onto skin -- featured heavily at Sonia Rykiel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior and Chanel.

At Chanel, designer Karl Lagerfeld mixed innocent white folk dresses with tattoo-like garters and high-cut knickers in a countryside romp, complete with models canoodling in a haystack.

"I'm completely with it," Russian model Natalia Vodianova said of the lingerie trend."A woman has to be elegant and not wear it in a vulgar way."

Presenting her new lingerie line for retailer Etam, Vodianova told reporters she felt inspired by women who showed a glimpse of their underwear or exposed their bra straps.

The Milan collections featured so many skimpy dresses that fashion critics dubbed the overarching theme "Viva la Bimbo."

Micro-dresses also abounded in Paris for spring/summer 2010, with Lagerfeld inserting slits into already tiny skirts at Chanel. Dior showed sleek negligee dresses and high-waisted French knickers, evoking the boudoirs of 1950s film stars.

Summing up the sexy mood, Gaultier named his collection "G-Spot" and dug into his archives for a provocatively half-dressed look, reviving the conical satin bra he once created for pop star Madonna.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation by Italian designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli as part of their Spring/Summer 2010 women's collection for fashion house Valentino during Paris Fashion Week, October 6, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>