Transgender models shine as Paris catwalk goes Japanese

Paris fashion week opened Tuesday with a dramatic mix of frills and "Fight Club", with young Brazilian creator Francisco Terra at Neith Nyer sending four transgender models down the catwalk.


Neith Nyers Spring Summer 2017 collection. - Neith Nyers Instagram


With all eyes on designer Anthony Vaccarello -- making his debut for Saint Laurent later Tuesday -- young turks stole the limelight.

Most of the first day's spring-summer women's shows sported strong Japanese influences, with the androgynous Neith Nyers "Fight Club"-themed show delivering the strongest punch.

Several transgender models have already become catwalk stars including the American Hari Nef, who is on the books of the top IMG agency alongside Gisele Bundchen and Gigi Hadid.

Terra told AFP that his cyber punky 1990s-tinged show was directly inspired by the sex scene between Helena Bonham Carter and Brad Pitt in the 1999 film.

Terra said he was particularly drawn to the ballsy character Marla played by Bonham Carter and "all the freshness of this generation and their bitchy side".

His look mixed radically repurposed leather jackets with punked-up Chanel-like suits, facial piercing and ear-rings inspired by ear-protectors he spotted being used on "clients in a Paris hairdressers".

- Totally Tokyo -

But the dominant look of the day was definitely Japanese.

While Neith Nyer had scarves and embroidery inspired by a trip Terra took there, Paule Ka's hugely impressive show under the glass of Paris' Jardin des Plantes tropical greenhouses referenced kimono-inspired dresses in vivid red, blue and green.


Paule Ka - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


Its Italian-American designer Alithia Spuri-Zampetti also came back from Tokyo with a notebook full of ideas.

"I wanted to play with the contrast between the rigid and the sculptural, the clean and the pure and the harmonious and poetic sides of Japan," she told AFP.

"Then you discover people's personalities, their gentleness, and in all the houses there are poetic little gardens," she added.

Spuri-Zampetti hung some of her multicoloured dresses like parrots high in the lush vegetation of the greenhouses, with her models posed on pedestals among the ferns and giant banana plants.

Amid the vivid floral patterns and stripes, her high-heeled sandals, shoes and bags sported fringes, a trend that continued in the young Ukrainian Julie Paskal's much more ethereal show.

Paskal, 27, said she had drawn inspiration from the German painter Sigmar Polke, with frills and fringes falling from her asymmetrical white, pale pink, yellow-green and orange creations.


Paskal - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


Nehera returned to Japan with designer Samuel Drira deconstructing the kimono and a whole wardrobe of other Asian influenced looks.

Dutch designer Liselore Frowijn's collection was a homage to Delft and the mixing of cultures, prompted by her discovery that the porcelain's blue colour owed its origins to indigo used on the Japanese island of Kyushu.

Finally, the weirdest show of the day was from Japanese label Anrealage, whose striped black and white suits ensembles -- worn with robot style hats -- seemed to be summon up futuristic convict Guantanamos.

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