Paris Fashion Week Day 1
Spring, electricity in the air

THOMAS ADAMSON
The Associated Press
Modified: January 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013
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photo - Models present creations by Raf Simons for Christian Dior's Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture fashion collection, presented in Paris, Monday, Jan.21, 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Models present creations by Raf Simons for Christian Dior's Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture fashion collection, presented in Paris, Monday, Jan.21, 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

IRIS VAN HERPEN

Iris Van Herpen's electrifying haute couture show should have come with a warning sign: Danger High Voltage.

A mysterious black statue in a dimly lit Parisian salon awaited revelers who suddenly gasped as this "statue" began to move; the figure was in fact a performer inside a black body stocking, standing on a Tesla coil.

Then followed one of the most unforgettable —and frightening — displays seen in recent couture memory: the electricity was turned on and this figure lit up like lightning.

As if straight out of a scene from the movie "X-Men," long electrical sparks shot out in all directions for several minutes.

In 11 dynamic looks, Van Herpen continued her signature exploration of organic life. This was, as ever, twinned with a dash of poetic license, all to produce one of her strongest shows to date.

White trapezoid silhouettes with all-over spiky appliques perfectly evoked the high-energy fuzz of a voltage current.

But it was the electric human that stole the show.

MAURIZIO GALANTE

Maurizio Galante is inspired by nature.

To the sound of birdsong, the designer presented a show where models, like forest spirits, sported moist organic hairstyles.

The looping, shredding and draping of diaphanous fabrics such as crepe, chiffon, organza and taffeta — often with glistening crystal beads — were aimed at evoking the delicate layers of foliage.

In some ensembles this worked.

A shredded, flowing white silk look that included flared chiffon pants flowed beautifully with the natural movement of the model.

However, at times the contrasting shredded fabrics came across busy in their myriad cutouts and loops.

ATELIER VERSACE

It was high octane glamor for Donatella Versace, who kicked off the haute couture season with a front row of celebrities and a sculpted razor-sharp set of silhouettes.

Taking inspiration from glass domes and steel beams, metal lines constructed the clothes in 24 carat gold pinstripe — and oversized fluorescent leather piping marked out the neckline.

Many inches of exposed leg and peek-a-boo slits accompanied this to make the show ooze with sexuality.

The 27 looks included a bubblegum pink babydoll evening dress with pink crystals and mirrors, and a deep V cut into the front.

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