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SF Fashion Week

PARIS, January 31, 2006 - On the morning that Coretta Scott King passed away, Ozwald Boeteng made his way down the catwalk at the end of the Givenchy Homme show. His arrival at one of the most venerable of Paris labels is in itself a victory for a man with humble roots in the Ashanti tribe. Givenchy Homme was also notable for casting models of color, be that mocha with dreadlocks, or Asian.

The truth is the collection didn’t so much rock as it sedately reached out to the sophisticated international gentleman. With a cut meant to accommodate, these clothes were notable for their immaculate Savile Row tailoring and fastidious detail. The low-cut stone washed jeans meant to add a note of youth wound up looking like weekend attire for a Fleet Street tycoon. Wasn’t it Charles Dickens who once wrote that the English had the uncanny ability to make young men look old? In a milieu that worships youth, that may seem something of an oddity, but at Givenchy it works, especially from a marketing prospective.

Among the beautiful knits, a series of fleece lined parkas and leather pieces stood out. The somber palate of winter gray was spruced up with shades of emerald (including a faint verdant tinge in a Prince of Wales check suit), arctic and electric blue.

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