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PARIS – Balmain celebrated rebellious trouble-makers at Paris Fashion Week Friday in a sexy show with spikes and studs, while Issey Miyake turned fashion design on its head with a fabric that can be molded and shaped by its wearer.
Here are some highlights of fall-winter 2019 ready-to-wear collections.
Metal boot tassels whipped fiercely against the models' legs as they walked.
Spikes on stiff A-line skirts led to menacing studs, kinky long black leather gloves and see-through and black PVC.
The fall-winter woman, Balmain said, was born of the recent need to don "new defensive armor for battles that we hoped were already won."
Whether or not this was a veiled reference to the post-#MeToo era, designer Olivier Rousteing was definitely in a fighting and rebellious spirit this season.
With signature excess, large 80s shoulders and ultra-cinched corset-like waists captured a notion of hyper-femininity, pushed to its limits.
One truncated dress, with a sheer spliced waist, sported black and white horizontal stripes — nature's patterning to indicate danger. It had guests snapping at their cameras.
American actress Shailene Woodley applauded from the front row.
Though designs clearly aimed to strengthen a woman's natural form, some of the layered dropped-waist looks had some issues with proportion and made even these six foot gazelle-like waifs looks square.
MIYAKE: IN IT FOR THE DOUGH DOUGH
The Franco-Japanese house of Issey Miyake prides itself on the use of cutting-edge "techno-fabrics."
Their collection, held in a spacious college hall in Paris' northwest, began with a bounce and a ripple thanks to a flexible textile called dough dough. (The name pertains to the malleability of the clothes, not their high-end price tag.)
The material, the brand said, has shape memory that turns its wearer into "artist and creator."
An oversize lapel on a gray wool coat-dress was scrunched into the shape of a cloud. A collar on a loose coat descended like a wilting tulip. A looseness defined many of the key looks.
Geometry was also a major theme.
It came in black and white, and in (overly) bold shards of contrasting color in another resin-like material called blink.
Designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae still has some way to go in refining the silhouettes in his womenswear styles that sometimes get lost in the techno-fabric-inspired push to attain bounce and fluidity.
BAD PARIS WEATHER POSES "FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS"
It could be global warming, French media suggests, or just changeable winds.
But the unpredictable Paris weather has posed a host of problems for fashionistas.
Air pollution reached danger levels earlier in the week as temperatures soared, prompting authorities to ban the most polluting vehicles inside the French capital Wednesday.
The fashion industry's response was seen at runway shows: designer respiratory masks, and one that was bejeweled, was donned by guests who found it uncomfortable to breathe.
Then, bright sunny spells morphed, in a matter of a few minutes, into heavy rain and caused wardrobe issues for front-row guests in summer garb who got drenched.
Front row guests at the Rick Owens and Issey Miyake shows complained they had to go home and change into winter coats between shows. It was tough, they said, given the grueling calendar of 11 back-to-back daily collections that's already tearing at the seams.
These were "first world problems," one wise guest remarked.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K