French menswear label feels the Timberlake effect

Call it the Justin Timberlake effect the Yves Saint Laurent menswear show in Paris on Sunday neatly encapsulated the blend of formal attire and casual sportswear that men will be wearing next winter.

The French label is dressing Timberlake for his current world tour, which sees the former teen idol graduating to three-piece suits albeit dressed down with crisp white sneakers.

Saint Laurent's designer, Stefano Pilati, has taken a couple of style tips from the 25-year-old singer in return. Witness the gray flannel trousers with a dropped crotch, or the blingtastic bag with gold chains and an oversized YSL-logo padlock.

"He's a style icon because he represents a generation that is very contemporary," Pilati told The Associated Press.

"To show at his age that he has this sense of style and appreciation for luxurious things and clothes, and is not somebody that leaves things to just happen, for me that's what represents style," he added.

Models paraded through a theater warehouse on the outskirts of Paris in chic windowpane-check blazers topped with oversized cowls in ribbed wool or lustrous black mink. A gold quilted lining on a black trench coat added an extra touch of flamboyance.

"There was a desire to escape conventions. That was kind of the basis of the collection," Pilati explained.

The outfits should keep Timberlake and other celebrity clients including Pharrell Williams and Kanye West coming back for more.

French labels Lanvin and Hermes both drew inspiration from homegrown heroes the trendsetting youngsters of the Paris rock scene.

The Lanvin ready-to-wear show, held in an ornate salon of the five-star Crillon hotel, delivered a sophisticated take on the skinny trousers and cropped jackets currently in vogue with fans of local bands like Second Sex, Les Shades and Naast.

Models with seamless felt caps, cocked at a jaunty angle, paraded in smart tailored coats paired with satin high-top sneakers.

Lucas Ossendrijver, who designs the menswear line under artistic director Alber Elbaz, said he was inspired by jogging suits, which were reworked in pre-washed black leather with a ribbed brown cuff or in purple duchess satin, traditionally a couture fabric.

"We did it in a way that's very masculine but never macho," he told reporters after the show. "It's about being modern what's needed for a guy today to be modern and not be too dressed up and not be too casual."

That meant floaty silk ties or cravats worn skew-whiff, the better to convey the wearer's insouciance.

The outfits at Hermes would not have looked out of place on the "Minets," a group of young men who hung out on the Champs-Elysees in the early '60s and who are credited with partly inspiring adolescent French boys' renewed love affair with style.

Designer Veronique Nichanian stuck to the clean lines and luxurious materials for which Hermes is famous, but she infused the retro-style outfits with rock 'n roll attitude, reports AP.

The schoolboy models, their eyes shrouded by feathered fringes, stepped out in jackets made from slate gray lizard or the softest brown calfskin.

A speckled cashmere high-collared jacket, paired with a black velvet blazer, made for an eminently Parisian look. And a gold necklace with stirrup-shaped pendants could well become the must-have accessory for bourgeois teens next fall.

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