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Marc Jacobs, Masha Ma wrap up Paris fashion week

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Paris fashion week wrapped up on Wednesday with the unashamed "decadent glamour" of Marc Jacobs' Louis Vuitton show contrasting with Chinese designer Masha Ma's "ascetic" femininity.

British model Kate Moss drew cheers at Jacobs' show as she stepped out of one of dozens of doors in his hotel-inspired set sporting, like all the show's models, a short black wig.

In a show celebrating luxury, gold and silver embroidery covered dresses with a retro feel were finished with fur trims and shimmered on the catwalk.

Silk and satin dresses were covered in what looked like lace but were in fact tiny cut feathers, while purple and green silk check coats and a backless trouser suit made liberal use of ostrich feathers.

Handbags, meanwhile, went without the house's famous monogram or Damier canvas.

Instead three iconic bag shapes -- the Pochette Accessoire, Lockit and the Speedy -- were given makeovers using textures such as marabou, curled goose feather and waxed crocodile.

"All the classic signs of a Vuitton bag were reinterpreted in materials that were more exotic or more hand-treated or just more feminine," US designer Jacobs said.

Asked about Moss, Jacobs added: "She means a lot to me personally. She's a very dear friend and she's closed many Vuitton shows."

Meanwhile, Ma's "Winter Garden" collection was inspired by the poetry of Spanish poet and Nobel laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez and the garden of Kyoto's Ryoan-Ji temple under winter snow.

Long, narrow pencil skirts or slim-cut trousers emphasising femininity, lightness and fragility were teamed with voluminous tops or over-sized jackets.

Body-hugging off the shoulder silk beaded dresses and satin blouses were a celebration of the "seductiveness of women", the house said, adding that Ma's femininity remained the key to her "ascetic exploration".

A palette of "blues from midnight insignia to skyway, ice flow grey, caviar black, a touch of sea grass and dark olive... moonlight silver and pearl" complemented Ma's longstanding colour of choice -- white.

Paris has hosted nearly 90 autumn/winter 2013/14 shows over the past nine days with the highlight of the week undoubtedly Alexander Wang's first collection for the illustrious French fashion house Balenciaga.

The US fashion star succeeded in creating a collection that pleased both the critics and his new bosses at the PPR luxury group that owns Balenciaga.

Chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said Wang had excelled in producing a collection under huge pressure that was "elegance, modernity, structure".

Another crowd puller was Raf Simons's second show for Christian Dior. Trade journal Women's Wear Daily praised him for showing more of himself with "splendid" results.

"While still respecting the codes of the house, for fall, Simons flexed many of his own signatures more obviously than in his debut collection -- a move essential in the evolution of Dior as a storied house with plenty to say to the modern consumer," it said.

The jury, meanwhile, was still out on Hedi Slimane's young, grungy follow-up to his first women's wear collection last October for Saint Laurent which divided the fashion industry.

The final show later Wednesday would be by South Korea-based Lie Sang Bong.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130306/marc-jacobs-masha-ma-wrap-paris-fashion-week