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PARIS (AP) – Josephus Thimister returned from a years-long hiatus with a spring-summer 2010 haute couture collection that searched for beauty in horror.
Thimister, a Paris-based designer who is of Russian, Belgian and French origin, looked to the bloodbath that was World War I for this collection of simple-lined ball gowns in silver and gold, red beaded cocktail dresses and full skirts in military drab worn with soldiers’ coats, satin sashes or mesh tank tops splattered in faux scarlet bloodstains.
The show interspersed menswear looks – reinterpretations of the uniforms of Russian Cossack troops, modeled by male models – with the couture pieces. Often the men’s and women’s looks mirrored one another, as with the his-and-hers versions of the red satin pant suit that opened the show.
Bursts of applause rang out from the audience – a sign of appreciation at Paris’ rarified made-to-measure shows – after many of the looks. Standouts included a cocktail dress in olive silk with a cape-let that transformed into a dramatic train and ball gowns made from woven gold ribbons.
Another gown, which appeared to be made from the kind of foil blankets rescuers hand out after a disaster, made loud crunching and crackling sounds and the model tottered down the runway.
The show ended with all the models, men and women alike, donning pilots’ jumpers for the final lap. Thimister’s grand return after several years’ absence marked the end of Paris’ 4-day-long menswear displays and the season’s first couture show.