Fashion week in Paris ends on a glamorous note

On Sunday's last day of the Paris spring-summer fashion shows for 2006, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton offered glamorous alternatives to the smocks, frocks and peasant blouses shown all week long.

Over at the Grand Palais; actresses Catherine Deneuve, Lauren Hutton, and rock star Marilyn Manson (dressed in a light gray suit and black tie that matched his lipstick) were on hand to catch the Yves Saint Laurent collection designed by creative director Stefano Pilati. He spent a day at the bullfights and came up with some pretty looks inspired by the matador.

There were many variations on this theme including straight legged trousers stopping just above the ankles with ruffles cascading down the front, belted shirtwaist dresses with ruffles that wrapped around the neck and spilled down the front; and pencil-thin skirts so tight the model could barely walk. Pilati borrowed the ball trim from the hems of boleros for his bubble skirts.

A matador version of the tuxedo suit, an YSL staple, featured a bolero-fitted jacket, ruffled shirt and thin cigarette pants. Yves Saint Laurent's famous tuxedo suit is currently the subject of an exhibition at the Fondation Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Berge in Paris. Lebanese designer Elie Saab had a first ready-to-wear line with a collection inspired by the great Hollywood icons of the 1950s. Daywear featured filmy ruffled tops in soft floral tops over ruffled skirts, or silk straight legged pants, or soft organza floral dresses that flowed from softly draped empire waists. Eveningwear mimicked the elegance of stars like Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe. Beaded sheath dresses had cowl necks, bias seaming and lots of fabric that fell from the hips down to the feet.

Against the hot, thumping beat of hip-hop music at the Petit Palais, Marc Jacobs sent out a young, eclectic and colorful collection for Louis Vuitton with strong overtones of the mid-1960s. There were plenty of tunics, some held together with licorice black straps, and others one-shouldered and worn over strapless straight mini-dresses in hot pink, orange and lime green. Other references from this period included candy-apple red vinyl shirtwaist dresses belted over khaki bermudas and safari shirts worn over low riding "space age" mini skirts, reported AP.

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