Paris Menswear July 06

PARIS, July 3, 2006 - Mary, of Peter, Paul and Mary, recently told the New York Times that she couldn’t understand why only the Dixie Chics had spoken out against the misbegotten American adventure in Iraq. Had it been the 1960s, she went on to say, the entire artistic community would have been picketing the White House.

So it's strange that young Austrian designer Petar Petrov would be the only designer thus far showing this season in Paris, to send out a politically charged message. Austria, after all, is a place where neo-Nazis are fast gaining on Socialists. What he showed on Monday was a collection of muscle shirts sprinkled with peace signs. As barefoot models trooped along the runway to a soundtrack that sang out "what are you fighting for?", you almost wanted to get up and give them a hand. Petrov’s retro look of interesting distressed fabrics - some quilted, some runched, some meshed - could have been at home in happier countercultural times. Add in a palette of such non-belicose colors as passion purple, plum and lilac, and you have the wardrobe fit for a Peace Commune located somewhere in the shadow of Woodstock.

Also of interest was a series of sweaters strung together by a macramé of holes.

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