Monday, February 27, 2006

Lust for Luxury Drives Paris Fashion Shows

Global hunger for luxury goods means big bucks for the Paris fashion industry even though high unemployment and weak growth are making European consumers more thrifty.

Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto kicked off a week of glitzy displays in the first major show of the Paris autumn-winter collection late on Sunday, parading models in oversize men's suits with coats draped like blankets over their shoulders.

"Hiding the body is always mysterious and sexy," the soft-spoken Yamamoto told Reuters after the show. "It's not like those tiny little cheap things."

Catwalk shows are a costly affairs for fashion houses but they are an important publicity event. Companies hope to lure the attention of consumers not only to the clothes but also to a brand's accessories such as hand bags or perfumes.

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