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Gaga stylist disappoints at Paris fashion week

September 29, 2011 • Business


Models wear creations by British fashion designer Gareth Pugh during his spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection presented Wednesday Sept.28, 2011in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — The alchemy was off at the house of Mugler, where Lady Gaga’s stylist, Nicola Formichetti, again failed to live up to his reputation as a sort of Generation Y Midas who turns everything he touches into gold.

Formichetti’s second effort as Mugler creative director fizzled Wednesday, as the label fielded a less-than-convincing spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection of willfully wacky sci-fi garb in neutral shades. It was as if the show, which garnered only a tepid round of applause before fashion insiders fled into the hot Paris night, had been tailor-made to drive home a crucial point: That buzz does not a fashion house make.

No one knows that better than Dries Van Noten, the modest and affable Belgian designer who, working quietly over the past quarter century, has built an empire on the quality of his clothes alone. Van Noten delivered another tour de force Wednesday, with a collection of sculptural skirts and jackets printed with cityscapes by night.

It looked as if Damir Doma were following in Van Noten’s footsteps, not aesthetically — the designers have radically different visions — but by allowing his clothes to mature naturally and to speak for themselves.

Rochas’ Marco Zanini held fast to his chaste vision of early 1960-era glamour with a slight patina of nerdiness, and big, bold retro-futuristic glamour was in the air at Brazilian wunderkind Pedro Lourenco’s polished show.

Zippers to nowhere embellished the peppy sportswear numbers from Portugal’s Felipe Oliveira Baptista, and models were encased in cages and plastic masks at the day’s most disturbing display, by soft-spoken British bad boy Gareth Pugh.

Paris’ nine-day-long ready-to-wear extravaganza moves into day three on Thursday with shows by California-born designer Rick Owens, coveted Paris label Balmain and Indian madcap Manish Arora.

DRIES VAN NOTEN

Romantic, boulder-strewn landscapes and anonymous cityscapes — their neon lights shining in the dark — were the dreamscapes of Van Noten’s haunting spring-summer collection.

The Belgian critical darling projected these topos onto the ladylike shapes of 1950s-era couture, sending out classic bell-shaped shirts and ample cocoon coats illuminated by urban lights or covered in dramatic black and white Login to read more

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