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Xavier Delcour's Lucky Number

By Timothy Hagy

PARIS, January 31 - Thirteen was the lucky number for Xavier Delcour, whose show late Sunday evening packed the heat of his earlier work. His razor-thin cut managed to be about one size smaller than Dior Homme, and if there was a model with more than a 28" waist, they were not discernable on the runway.

Some of Delcour's ideas - jacket collars that burst into fan-like stitching when turned up on end, silver decoration that dangled from shirt pockets, a military style double breasted peacoat that hugged the torso - were just the thing for the peacocks among the male species. One of the ideas, wrapping the waist and derrière in unattached spiraling leather belts, proved more aesthetically pleasing than practical, especially as one model lost his midway down the catwalk. All the detail, and all the sparkle of the all-black collection came at a price.

"My eyes are so tired," groaned Michael Roberts, Illustrator for the New Yorker, on the way up to the Wilhelm presentation at the end of a long, long Sunday. "I've been going to shows all day, and it's at the point I can't look at another black outfit."

Later that same evening, on the Métro line 1, direction Château de Vincennes, two of Delcour's androgynous models piled onto the train. The dark curls of one were barely visible beneath the knit ski cap he had pulled over his head, though that did not seem to bother his girlfriend, who was kissing and hanging on for dear life. The other, a blonde American with features so delicate that he seemed trapped between two sexes, was working his cellphone in search of friends, perhaps with benefits. As they sprawled on two facing seats, a clump of fashion editors arrived, one with pointy Helmut Lang booties that looked as if they'd been snatched off the Wicked Witch of the West, and the other in gold lamé tennis shoes. We all headed east together as the bewitching hour approached - one big, contented Paris men's week family.  


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