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Boy George talks politics at Paris menswear, Dior goes dark

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/21/2017 By THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Writer
A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — Music maestro Boy George got political at Paris Fashion Week as Dior Homme went to the dark side, creating a hard, brooding fall-winter collection. Here are the highlights of Saturday's menswear shows.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

DIOR PULLS IN THE STARS, BOY GEORGE DEFENDS MELANIA

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

A demure and relaxed Paris Jackson dodged journalists as she arrived at the Dior Homme show in a black Dior perfecto jacket and stylish white pleated skirt.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The daughter of pop icon Michael Jackson vied for attention with music legend Bono, who dominated the front row in his customary shades next to LVMH fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault, owner of the fashion house.

Belgian art director Kris van Assche acknowledges applause after the presentation of Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press Belgian art director Kris van Assche acknowledges applause after the presentation of Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

But it was Boy George that did all the talking. The former "Culture Club" front man got political, defending new U.S. first lady Melania Trump against negative press about her former modelling career.

Belgian art director Kris van Assche acknowledges applause after the presentation of Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press Belgian art director Kris van Assche acknowledges applause after the presentation of Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

"You know what — as somebody who has a past — I think it's really wrong and mean-spirited of women to be so abusive," Boy George told The Associated Press from beneath an exuberant embellished hat. The fashion icon added that, in the Herve Pierre-designed inauguration gown, Melania Trump "looked amazing."

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The singer, who is gay, said people should "remain positive" about the next four years in the United States. Still, he lamented — with a hint of humor — that President Donald Trump didn't mention the LGBT community — "or me" — in his inauguration speech.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

DIOR HOMME GOES DARK AND EDGY

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Designer Kris Van Assche went against the grain of Dior codes with resounding success, producing a hard-edged fall-winter menswear display that explored the darker side of fashion.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The decor of metal scaffolding, sinister booming music and interlocking planks of raw wood that served as a catwalk set the unusual mood. This was a stomping celebration of hardcore rave, rebellion and the street.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Black leather gloves opened the Grand Palais collection. Dark sneakers sported banding that was crisscrossed to look like bondage. Plunging, dark capes completely enveloped the body. Flamboyant eye-catching fur coats — in russet and cobalt blue — mixed with urban prints.

Models wear creations during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press Models wear creations during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

And a sky blue ribbed knit sweater, worn on top of and obscuring the Dior Homme bread-and-butter suit, might have been a way for Assche to creatively rebel from the sometimes-constricting house codes.

U.S actress Paris Jackson poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press U.S actress Paris Jackson poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

It was a strong and effective contrast with the peppered sartorial elements of the show, on which the house has made its name.

U.S actress Paris Jackson poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press U.S actress Paris Jackson poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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U.S rap artist ASAP Rocky poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press U.S rap artist ASAP Rocky poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

DESIGNER DEBUT AT BERLUTI

Singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson pose during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson pose during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

All eyes Saturday were on a highly-anticipated debut from edgy designer Haider Ackermann at Paris Fashion Week.

Singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson pose during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson pose during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The artistic direction of Berluti — a bootmaker since 1895 that branched out into ready-to-wear only in 2011— has been closely watched by parent company LVMH. Company chief Bernard Arnault's powerful son, Antoine, is CEO.

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Ackermann's new direction was a drastic make-over. Gone was the chic classicism of predecessor Alessandro Sartori and the trademark shoe wear. In its place, pointed boots and a fresh feeling. Velvet suits, exaggerated layering and long soft color-infused coats — one in shimmering dry mustard — set the tone for the 37-piece-collection.

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton poses during a photocall before Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Under Ackermann, Berluti just got funky.

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

SACAI GOES ECLECTIC

A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation during Christian Dior's Men fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

What do ponchos, duffel coats, bubble jackets, chiffon gowns, jeans, velvet coats, and bobble hats have in common?

Normally not a lot — but Sacai threw them all into the creative mix at their eclectic, imaginative menswear show Saturday at Paris Fashion Week.

One of Japan's most lucrative fashion houses, Sacai has built a reputation for the avant-garde and quirky that was sealed and crowned for this fall-winter season. The eclecticism extended even to the palette, with gray marl, coral, celestial blue, metallic green, ruddy brown and vivid cadmium yellow among the diverse 47 looks at the show.

There were some great individual pieces, such as a square shirt in check with pockets and sleeves that optically distorted the direction of the lines.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

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