Paris Menswear July 06

PARIS, July 1, 2006 - Jean Paul Gaultier said after his show on Saturday that "men could wear the women's pieces, and women could wear the men's pieces". And if you look at the whole of his career, Gaultier has made his name by playing on androgyny, simultaneously relaxing the codes that separate the sexes.

The summer 2007 men's show was full of subtle nods to that theme. You could see it in the cummberbund-crossed-with-corset belts that wrapped around some of the guys' thin waists, in the skirt pants worn with stripped knee socks and clogs, or the sleek quasi-feminine silhouette of a tightly tapered double breasted suit seductively tossed with a feathery stole. With all the hair extensions and hour glass figures parading down the catwalk, It took a series of peeled back transparent tops to tell which models were girls and which were boys. If only culture was to the point that girls could unveil themselves like the boys, then these pieces could be worn publicly the way they were presented on the runway.

Low riding jeans topped by transparent shirts, sequined vests, 70s-style bell bottoms and shiny sportswear, intended as a nod to the World Cup (Soccer) being played later in the day, reinforced the casual.

But the real message of the show was the power of seduction generated when the sexes intermingle to the point they become interchangeable.

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