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Fashion

Fashion world flocks to Paris

Paris Fashion Week has opened with traditional flare. Young designers have set the bar high on the opening day with eye-catching on-trend pieces.

The highly anticipated Paris Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday in an unlikely setting - the Gare de l'Est station - setting the nine-day pret-a-porter extravaganza in the fashion capital of the world into motion.

It was a dramatic start to the opening day: Parisian designer Karim Bonnet's models took to the runway in floor-skirting capes, embellished with motifs inspired by the columns and steel beams of the neoclassical train station where the show was taking place.

Pret-a-porter, the theme at Paris Fashion Week, literally translates into English as "ready-to-wear," and, as the name suggests, these pieces are designed for real life, not just for the runway. This is in contrast to haute couture, meaning “upscale tailoring” and intended exclusively for the catwalk.

Bang on trend

A model shows a creation by French fashion designer Karim Bonnet as part of Impasse de la Defense ready to wear Spring-Summer 2013 collection, presented in Paris, Tuesday, Sept.25, 2012. (Foto:Thibault Camus/AP/dapd)

Karim Bonnet was one of the young designers showcasing their pieces on the first day of Fashion Week

Monochrome set against block colors was a key look in the opening show: Models sported black-and-white crowns and vivid blue-and-orange heels.

Designer Bonnet paid clear homage to key fabrics and patterns for spring-summer 2013 as well; on-trend pieces ranged from tailored jackets made from velvet to an eye-catching tartan bare-backed dress. The fabric is widely seen as one of the defining looks of the season.

Bonnet also said that his collection had been inspired by the contemporary art scene and he had thus sought to create "simple fashion" for women with brains and a strong sense of self.

What to watch out for

The first day of Paris Fashion Week is traditionally dedicated to young designers. Bigger names in the industry, including Rochas and Dries Van Noten, will rock the runways on Wednesday.

Eagerly anticipated fashion creators set to showcase their collections this year include Portuguese designer Fatima Lopes and South Korean Moon Young-Hee. The Dior fashion house will also showcase ready-to-wear designs for the first time.

After a two-year break, the German designer Wolfgang Joop will also present the new collection for his label "Wunderkind" on Saturday.

sej/mkg (AFP/dpa)