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Paris Fashion Week: McQueen and Valentino up femininity

Pretty femininity was the buzzword for spring 10 in Paris this week, with British designer Alexander McQueen and Italian stalwart Valentino choosing to interpret the phrase from totally opposite ends of the spectrum at their respective catwalks last night.

While McQueen plumped for curve emphasising structures, flouncy hemlines and super short lengths to show off his girls, Valentino’s efforts centred more around sugar and spice shades of frothy tulle and organza.

McQueen’s show notes said his collection was a reflection of a post-apocalyptic world run by sea creatures, and he used digital reptile prints to represent his amphibious ideas on bulbous skirted mini dresses, scale-effect sculpted hips and puff sleeves. Prints veered through to less distinguishable representations further on into the presentation, as marbled effects in blues and greens suggested the oceanic element of his new world, but McQueen still kept it ultra girlish as he gathered tulle into multitudinous ruffles as surface texture on his minidresses.

Over at Valentino, sheer dresses in layers of rose, lemon and café au lait organza conjured up ideas of sweet spun sugar rather than the rebellious reptiles of McQueen. Fabric was pulled into oversized bows, fanned out on the front of the body, or nipped and tucked into ruffled jackets, shorts and playsuits. Feathered slips, gold leaf dotted antique lace and floral appliqué were all thrown into the pretty girl party, as a ruffle adorned leather biker jacket showed how even the toughest of pieces could be a perfect part of Valentino’s fairy tale world.

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