Fashionable return to images of hippie days

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The Independent Online
THE CLOTHES of the rave culture were given a designer's seal of approval in Paris at the menswear collections for next spring.

Paul Smith showed patchwork trousers and jackets made from scraps of fabric from Afghanistan, multi-coloured striped cardigans, and transparent mesh shirts, modelled by young men with hippy curls and goatee beards wearing open sandals and beads round their necks.

These were the looks of the late Sixties and early Seventies; peace, love and harmony updated for the Nineties.

In Milan, Dolce e Gabbana showed a similar look, with the additional touch of John Lennon style spectacles.

The shows confirmed the continuing influence of street fashion on up-market fashion.

Jeans, workwear, sports clothing and club fashion are now commonplace influences in designers' collections, reflecting a loosening of attitudes in the upper echelons of men's fashion.

Paul Smith, who was rated the fifth most influential international menswear designer in a recent French poll, has become one of the hot tickets of the Paris shows.

The designer, who is launching a collection for women next year, pinpoints the important trends for young, streetwise men, but also produces tailoring that will satisfy his older customers.

High-buttoned jackets were cut long and close to the body with high vents, paired with narrow, cigarette trousers.

Shirts were designed for dandies, with high collars and long flared cuffs. Just right for ravers who have grown out of Glastonbury.

(Photograph omitted)