Tuxedos launch Paris menswear shows

Dutch design duo Viktor and Rolf sent out a tuxedo-led collection rich in blue and mustard shades on the first full day of the Paris spring-summer menswear shows on Thursday.

A James Bond-ish gleaming blue tux - matched with a blue bow tie and, horror of horrors, sandals and socks - set the tone for a range that also included a whale-emblazoned sweatshirt.

The designers themselves - Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren - casually stood out at the finale in jumbo-sized sunglasses.

For the thinking man in a hurry, Rick Owens sent out a rather scholarly collection in earthy hues dominated by ankle-length tunics and skirts, sometimes matched with minimally tailored blazers.

"If there's anyone on the planet that can sell skirts to men, I think that it's me," the affable Paris-based Californian said after his fast-paced show beneath the stands of the Bercy stadium.

"It's not like it (skirts) are our best-seller or anything, but we do sell them if people ask for them... It's a minority and it's a niche, but I like accomodating a niche."

Fabrics ranged from cotton poplins and silk to black leather seersucker, which Owens said he deliberately used because seersucker was not a textile he would normally turn to for his creations.

"I like promoting the idea of dignity," he said, evoking images of Greek philosophers coming together to discuss the meaning of life. "I wanted it to be very beautiful and very simple."

For its first-ever collection by a collective of designers, Issey Miyake Men embraced blue in all its brightest shades for a range of breezy, relaxed looks.

The Paris menswear shows, which end on Sunday, kicked off on Wednesday evening with Sebastian Teigne for Mugler presenting a masculine show full of bare chests and, in one instance, very short leather shorts.

Other fashion houses with shows on Thursday included Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohi Yamamoto and Dries Van Noten.