March 03, 2005 Paris
Lacroix opened with cocktail suits scissored from brocades and shot taffetas, often lavished with unusually colored furs (strawberry fox, greige mink) and cut with a Parisian flourish. His magpie eye drew on a multitude of references, including twenties haute couture flappers (for a black beaded frock or coat splashed with giant white sequin daisies); the work of cult seventies designer Jean Muir (for a slim coat in grass-green perforated suede); a felt Victorian cape (for the collar detail on a sleek black velvet coat); and a Japanese kimono print (for a lightly pleated skirt tied with an obi sash).
As he has for the past two seasons, Lacroix showed some of his men's looks among this fine-feathered flock. Red velvet jeans and a navy pea coat worn with trainers in shades of mossy velvet; coral charms on a chain slung across dirty pastel fatigue pants; and a nineteenth-century-flavored military greatcoat set off with a beaded cap all successfully suggested Lacroix's own quirky sartorial image.
For his ladies, jewel-clasped velvet ribbons in clashing colors (used to anchor the bodice on an evening dress or as a flourish on a lapel) and cloudy puffs of tulle over contrasting under-dresses were both delightful ideas taken from his couture show. And Lacroix's stellar finale of evening dressesin eye-popping Pepto-Bismol chiffon finished with a black velvet bow, for instance, or mauve crushed velvet trimmed with the lavish Edwardian passementerie that is everywhere this seasonexuded off-beat charm and proved the master couturier's touch.