Naked attention-seeking eclipses Paris men's fashion shows

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Marc Burleigh
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Paris (AFP) - A day after US designer Rick Owens sent a jolt through the Paris men's fashion shows by parading penises on the catwalk, other labels struggled to win back the spotlight with collections boasting military dress or vintage styles.

- Below-the-belt -

Owens was still revelling in his bombshell stunt which stole attention from much bigger fashion houses like Louis Vuitton -- though the lasting impact might well be in the puns it spawned than the threads he made.

While many mainstream media cropped or pixellated the errant organs peeking out from cutaway men's robes, Instagram and Twitter users made the moment go viral -- and redubbed the Californian designer #DickOwens.

GQ magazine declared that Owens had gone "balls-out" with his show.

"Free the peen" was a slogan born.

Quite a few observers hailed Owen for blowing apart the hypocrisy of the fashion world by showing female nudity but little in the way of male flesh.

But the broader consensus was: this was a winter collection -- and weren't designs a little, well, chilly?

With that sort buzz circulating, the labels -- and maybe the models -- on Friday had their work cut out for them.

- Anti-war khaki -

South Korean designer Juun.J offered a complete and completely dressed contrast by way of khaki military uniforms refashioned as streetwear.

The serious-looking jackets sported by his models were billboards for anti-war campaigning though, with airbrushed images of a little girl's face and doves.

"The girl, the dove, they are all symbols of anti-war. It's a contrast between the military -- khaki tailoring -- and the anti-war movement. I think it's a nice balance," he told AFP after the show.

- No Galliano -

Maison Margiela rolled out a team show of black and grey numbers of clean lines, wide pants and long coats -- reminiscent of yesteryear.

One face missing from the line-up, however, was Margiela's new designer John Galliano.

Attendees were hoping to catch sight of the British artist, who made his comeback earlier this month in London three years after being fired by Dior for drunken anti-Semitic comments in a Paris bar. But he was a no-show.

- Nonchalant Parisians -

On a floor covered with old French banknotes and giant cigarette butts, young brand Melinda Gloss presented menswear presenting models dressed half-gangster, half-dandy.

The clotheshorses clumped together in groups where musicians played live. It was all to show the Paris man as someone "relaxed, chic but not overdone," explained one of the two designers, Remi de Laquintane.