Manish Arora styles graffiti fashion in urban chic

THOMAS ADAMSON Associated Press Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Manish Arora hit the nozzle on the graffiti can on Thursday in his fall-winter ready-to-wear show in Paris, combining the neon yellows, fuchsias and deep purples of street art with 1950s silhouettes.

The Indian designer explored a Brooklyn cityscape in which tiny floral brocades teeming with color peeped through cracks in brick-colored pencil skirts.

Short coats and stiff Aline skirts gleamed with a metallic finish, reminding us of the railroad tracks of Paris' Austerlitz train station a stone's throw away from the show.

Models in loose, flared graffiti dresses with sporty straps amused the crowd as they stopped mid-catwalk to camouflage with the painted backdrop, like urban chameleons.

A rich mix of materials were on display, including dyed Scandinavian Saga fur, crepe and silk satin. But it was a shame that in many of the pieces the fabrics were colored and embroidered to near-death, diminishing their visual quality.

The show ended to a round of applause but also some coughs -- as the fumes from the freshly graffitied set wafted toward the front row.