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Paris Menswear Report
At Vuitton: Et In Arcadia Ego - click for photos
Written by Timothy Hagy

PARIS, July 3 - A light breeze sprayed water droplets from the fountains in the Parc André Citroën, as guests sipped champagne on the terrace before the Vuitton show. White-vested waiters scurried about with silver trays spread with canapés of tuna in honey, and lamb over mint. And just in the middle of the crowd was the ever-gracious president of Louis Vuitton, Yves Carelle, along with his elegant, English-born wife Rebecca. Their young son, little Yves, was delighted with a glass of Coca-Cola, but somewhat mystified by all the adults crowding around him. He pulled at his father's jacket.

"Daddy has to work," M. Carcelle patiently explained. "This is a fashion show, and then meeting the press. You know_work."

Work was not on little Yves' young mind as he clutched his glass with both hands. But inside the glass temple, where an arcade of ivy arched over moss-green satin seats, work was also banished to a distant concept, as the show magically evoked a lazy summer afternoon of childhood where little boys never grow up. The inspiration was an Evelyn Waugh classic, "Brideshead Revisited".

There was a surrealist aura to the collection that Marc Jacobs sent out for Spring / Summer 2005, almost as if the geopolitical darkness of the modern world could be brightened with one beam of Aladdin's lamp. Brooches in the form of turtles and teddy bears crawled onto lapels, scarves and even burgundy tasseled Tambour caps - an accessory that conjures up a vision of some distant bazaar, one where the Arab world is full of friends, not dangerous mists.

The collection was light and relaxed, with pastel cashmere sweaters, creamy Bermuda shorts, cool gray silk shirts, velvet pajamas and even an old fashioned silk and velvet smoking jacket presented with a new line of Vuitton gym and travel bags. Add a pale lilac linen jacket, an emerald-green velvet blazer or shimmering gold silk pants, and the long days of summer stretch out into soft, warm evenings. But the vanilla slacks paired with white muscle shirts, proudly emblazoned with the LV logo, provided just enough contrast to give the impression that these little boys probably bite.

As the soundtrack rocked with a jazzed up version of Gershwins' classic "Summertime, and the livin' in easy", the show wound down - under the arcade, where the boys play, and happily I am.

At Vuitton: Et In Arcadia Ego - click for photos

Dior, Gaultier, Kenzo, Marongiu, Matsushima, Paul Smith, Petrov, Dubuc, Simons, Vuitton

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