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Givenchy, Hermes, Celine get elegant at Paris Fashion Week

PARIS--True style doesn't try too hard.

That was the statement at Paris Fashion Week, alarmingly simple, but proved in a number of ready-to-wear presentations Sunday which heralded a move towards clean, simplified elegance.

Celine designer Phoebe Philo — at the top of her game — produced an effortlessly chic display.

The lauded Briton delivered a strong collection, which evoked a boho-bourgeois style in soft silhouettes with subtle architecture.

Another of Paris' influential designers, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, presented a new vision of style Sunday.

Celine

Spring is about gentle contradictions, not color, Phoebe Philo seemed to say: Shown through a muted palette of black, white, navy and gray.

The real point of the show was the gentle play on contrasting lines, then textures, then form.

Loosely hanging silhouettes — often with attention to neck details in high necks, bands and twists — came in column or boxy shapes, with a couple of black A-line tuxedo-dresses for good measure.

The gloss of sheeny silks whispered a contrast against matte fabric.

Givenchy

Trend-setting designer Riccardo Tisci changed the direction of Givenchy's ready-to-wear Sunday.

He simplified the silhouette to a more flattened and spread out front-and-shoulder emphasis in 37 black, white and gray looks.

A strong voice in the fashion conversation, Tisci's tailoring influences designers far and wide.

Last spring, for instance, he brought back the peplum.

Now, hardly a collection goes by without one cropping up.

The wilder bondage-gear touches that added spice to last season's equestrian-inspired trip, were gone here, in a less elaborate display — but which had its moments of clean elegance.

A great feature was the clean, descending ripples in many of the looks which are sure to spread into other collections like wildfire.

Hermes

The fashion crowd got their summer holidays early — flown first class across a vibrant mix of Polynesian prints and color-rich baroque foulard motifs.

Several of the models carried hang luggage. The mascot of the house, after all, is an airborne messenger.

The looks stopped off at every fabric under the sun: in full grain leather woven in silk, washed silk twill, plunged lambskin, satin piping and lovely indigo denim linen.

Colors too, were diverse in cappuccino, terracotta, sulphur, emerald, cobalt and —the palette's most beautiful — celadon.

The flight this season stopped off at the Netherlands and Germany— with tinges of the geometry and graphics of 1930s.

Kenzo

Kenzo headed back to the Southeast Asian jungle Sunday in a vibrant, fun collection that picked up their last menswear theme: a rainforest trek.

After just one year at the helm, the hard work of designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim has paid off. They've managed to re-stamp the brand with a cool, populist edge.

But they're serious about their work in other ways too. Fashion insiders were allowed to live the catwalk theme — literally — by having to trek to the far-flung venue, the Maison de Judo, on the Paris city limits.

In bold — sometimes purposefully garish — orange vermilions and greens, the collection threw up some great wide pants and boxy-shaped jackets as well as a lot of safari-style street wear.

Though some of the jungle printed ensembles looked overly busy, a beautiful camouflage print made up for it with images of flowers that looked like leopard.

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A model wears a creation by fashion designer Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy's ready-to-wear Spring-Summer 2013 collection in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 30.

(AP)

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