80s models return in Galante's natural couture

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Maurizio Galante is inspired by nature.

To the sound of birdsong, the Italian-born designer presented a textural and organic haute couture spring-summer show 2013.

As if these were dryads or spirits that had emerged from a forest, the models' hair was twisted into moist organic locks and bonded with feathers.

The looping, shredding and draping of diaphanous fabrics such as crepe, chiffon, organza and taffeta -- often with cutouts and glistening crystal beads -- were aimed at evoking the delicate layers of foliage.

In some of the less busy ensembles this worked.

A shredded, flowing white silk look that included flared chiffon pants flowed beautifully with the natural movement of the model -- a Galante signature.

A great lemon-colored sheath lightly hugged one model's silhouette and added a welcome hint of sexiness.

However, at times the contrasting shredded and processed fabrics were overworked and came across plain busy in their myriad cutouts and floppy loops.

Galante was simply trying to say too much and somewhat drowned out a collection that did have some beautiful moments.

The show's greatest merit was Galante's all-inclusive attitude to women.

Top couture models from the eighties and nineties -- now middle-aged, and, dare it be said, not all stick-thin -- were used, such as Simonetta Gianfelici and Yves Saint Laurent's Amalia Vairelli.

"I remember them, I remember them all!" said veteran fashion journalist Marie-Christiane Marek from the front row. "They're still beautiful."

And they were.

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