Sporty, masculine-feminine looks; bright, brash clothes reminiscent of the Greed Decade, and chic tailored pieces all played important roles in the spring shows.

Chanel: Coco meets James Dean. So read the translucent band that fastened the pile of photographs inside Karl Lagerfeld's press kit for his spring Chanel show. Qu'est — ce que c'est — a butched-up garçon? Perhaps, but the backdrop at the Grand Palais was a shirred bubblegum pink curtain behind a huge CC-logoed computer screen. A multitude of messages? Mais oui.

Since Lagerfeld first put boys on the runway several season ago, he toyed with gender-bending in ready-to-wear, directing all things overtly chichi to the loftier bastion of haute. He also seems to have reserved his focus for couture. It's hard to believe that someone could brilliantly develop as singular a concept as he did in his July couture — 50 coats with indulgent secret embellishments inside — and the next time out let loose with a cacophony of clothes packed with so many ideas it left one's head spinning in utter confusion.

Clearly, Lagerfeld has men's wear on his mind, and once again put it on the runway. The verdict: jeans, yea (for men man enough to brandish double-Cs on their behinds where once there were Levi's logos); sweater dress over jeans: nay.

As for masculine sportif for women, some nifty jeans and a girl in a fedora and tweed coat (apparently almost naked underneath), set the audience up for a significant leitmotif. But beyond a major exploration of shorts — they came in everything from yellow jacquard denim with a purple tweed jacket to black lace bicycle shorts over briefs — the fleshing out never happened. Rather, Lagerfeld was too busy spewing thoughts in every direction — belted tweed dirndls, suits in blinding brights, even more blinding artsy prints, exuberant Fifties party frocks, calm Sixties party frocks, and on and on and on. All of which should make for a shopaholic's delight come spring — unless she's looking for clarity of message.

Louis Vuitton: On Sunday night, the gold-gated façade of the Petit Palais, site of Marc Jacobs' spring Louis Vuitton show, was all aglow with an illuminated projection of the LV monogram. A harbinger of flash to come? You betcha. So au revoir, discretion. Adieu, sobriety. Bienvenue, fun times, brash clothes and a petite homage to Versace, all of which Jacobs served up in what he called "a celebration of status and luxury."

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