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Vivienne presents DIY chic in Paris while Dior proposes sheer ethnic

September 29, 2008
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The grande dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood , had some style advice for guests at her spring/summer presentation in Paris this week. "Do it yourself," instructed notes left on the chairs which lined the runway. "Make shawls from blankets, table cloths, curtains, towels, or a metre of fabric." Better still: "Style together with beautiful pieces from your wardrobe or that of your mother or husband," she urged.

And on the catwalk the punk icon showed how it was done with a standout example from the DIY-inspired collection combining striped silk shorts, fluffy leg warmers and a leopard print shawl.

Pyjama stripes in pastel hues were a recurring theme, fashioned into a dramatic pirate wench evening gown and as voluminous lengths of fabric draped in African-inspired silhouettes.

Fellow Brit John Galliano also took an ethnic approach in his vision for next season at Dior. Drawing on memories of trips to Africa the style maestro gave a sensual twist to tribal inspiration with his use of sheer fabrics.

Models took to the runway in dramatic floor-length gowns with lace and silk voile inserts or tiers of pleats from thigh to knee.

Short chiffon numbers which skimmed mid-thigh in acid-yellow, orange, fuchsia and electric blue were equally sheer, and cleverly combined with matching, knitted hotpants.

While hues on the catwalk were vibrant, celebrity guests kept things demure with grey as their colour of choice. Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Smile singer Lily Allen, former Bond girl Eva Green and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson were all wearing the sophisticated hue as they took their seats beside the catwalk.

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Photo: ©
Mix and match was the message on the catwalk at Vivienne Westwood. This outfit, which combined striped shorts, a leopard-print shawl and leg warmers, epitomised the British punk icon's "do it yourself" message
Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Pyjama-like stripes in pastel hues were also a key theme, here fashioned into swashbuckling pirate skirts
Photo: © Rex
Photo: ©
John Galliano gave ethnicity a sensual twist with sheer fabrics in a collection inspired by memories of trips to Africa
Photo: © Getty Images

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