Paris fashion week kicks off today as Milan handed over the platform after showing up wearable luxury.

Young designers raised the curtains for Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday. Paris’ Karim Bonnet – who started out reworking second-hand clothes into what he called a “post-punk” look – sent his models down an open-air catwalk outside the capital’s Gare de l’Est, to the wailing sound of the pipes.

One model wore a bodice of edible-looking white pearls across her back, her breasts naked under a draped shirt of sheer lace, and tufts of shocking pink tulle adorning the toes of her balance-defying shoes.

There was a bricolage, pick-and-mix feel to Bonnet’s dresses made of thick, rug-like, multicoloured wraps, cut from old jute sacks or brown paper bags, or the utilitarian-looking chains used for shoulder straps.

Brooke Taylor – who with his real-life partner Nana Aganovich forms the London-based duo Aganovich – told AFP their spring/summer 2011 look is “a puzzle, which lets you combine and accessorise clothes, collars and sleeves.”

But here the tone was sober, austere even, with clean black-and-white lines, only broken up by the occasional oil-stain like red print, inspired by poppies by the US photographer Irving Penn.

The designer duo set up a rusty anchor and piled-up ship chains in the centre of a typical Marais courtyard to showcase their latest look.

Sober-cut dresses of ivory silk were paired with asymetrical boleros or capes, while skin-tight trousers in tiny black-and-white polka dots was paired with a sheer black half jacket that left one shoulder naked.

After stops in New York, London and Milan, 91 catwalk shows in the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week are to keep the fashion crowd on its toes for nine days to October 6.

In Milan, italian fashion designers created shimmering, fluid looks for their 2011 spring/summer collections, mixing fringes and lengths to seduce women as conscious of their bodies as of their money.

Crystal embroideries, golden belts and mirror heels shone at the Milan shows ended on Tuesday. A longer calendar and a new central location attracted more buyers than last year, confirming signs of recovery for luxury good brands.

Dolce& Gabbana Creation at Milan

A relaxed, sensual elegance inspired Dolce&Gabbana. Crystals were sewn on long-slung robes, like those seen at Armani, whose blue collection was inspired by desert nomads.

Robert Cavalli Creation at Milan, 2010

Roberto Cavalli celebrated his 40th anniversary in the fashion world with a sexy, glitzy-rock collection, which featured free-flowing fringes on pants, necklaces and bags.

Prada proved again that not all women are made equal with a “minimal Baroque” collection, with simple forms in vivid colors and round-shouldered striped dresses.

Versace explored a sophisticated, sexy look, with short jackets revealing a line of skin and the house’s Greek fret on clothes and bags, some of which mixed metal with crystals.  Gucci showed off tuxedo one-pieces or totem dresses with crystals or feathers. Woven python strips and crystal-embroidered gowns took center stage at Gianfranco Ferre’s show.

Prada @ Milan, 2010

Finally, Milan gave the stage for Paris show off.

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