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Louis Vuitton channels escapism at sweltering Paris menswear

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/22/2017 By THOMAS ADAMSON, Associated Press
A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — Rick Owens dabbled in cosmic musing while sweltering celebrity guests such as model-actress Naomi Campbell got an exotic taste of wanderlust from Louis Vuitton.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Here are the highlights of Thursday's menswear collections for spring-summer 2018 at Paris Fashion Week.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

LOUIS VUITTON'S GREAT ESCAPE

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The sun beat down on VIP guests attending Louis Vuitton's open air show inside the storied Palais Royal gardens.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

If some were dreaming of being whisked away from the stifling heat in the French capital, they were in luck. Designer Kim Jones channeled wanderlust and the magic of isolated world archipelagos for Vuitton's next spring-summer collection.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

It was a welcome moment of escapism.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Starting with Hawaii, Jones reimagined the familiar Aloha shirt with a shiny sheer outer layer that evoked the sparkling ocean.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori

But her collection was more about island-hopping and a sense of spirited adventure than any one geographical location.

A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press A model wears a creation as part of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

"I was inspired by the idea of an island and of travel. Of moving easily from place to place, and experiencing these different pockets of civilization," Jones said.

Fashion guests look on during the show of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press Fashion guests look on during the show of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris, France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Sneakers and logo-adorned sandals, indigo denim hats and oversize Monogram bags slung across a shoulder accessorized relaxed looks. Baggy pants — gently pleated and loose at the hip — were on-trend.

Fashion designer Kim Jones acknowledges applause at the end of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press Fashion designer Kim Jones acknowledges applause at the end of Louis Vuitton Men's Spring Summer 2018 fashion collection, presented in Paris France, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Sports also was very much in the air, inspired, the fashion house said, by the extreme sports often practiced in far flung locations.

Neoprene scuba tops and shorts were reimagined, of course, in luxuriant, multicolored bonded leather that only Vuitton would dare.

This was backpacking and trekking — but not for the budget traveler.

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FRONT ROW

Naomi Campbell caused a stir when she arrived at the Vuitton show at the last minute, joining American rappers Travis Scott and Tyga in the front row.

Campbell was passing through Paris after attending the Cannes Lions Festival, where she hung out with The Weeknd.

Nearby, British singer Lily Allen, who is friends with designer Jones and sported a sheeny Louis Vuitton menswear look, said she was excited to be able to make the show.

"It usually falls on the Glastonbury (Festival) weekend, this show, so I'm never really around, but I'm not there this year so I thought I'd pop over," she told The Associated Press.

"Me and Kim (Jones) used to live together years ago. We were flatmates. He's the loveliest person in the world. He's one of my treasured friends," she added.

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RICK OWENS' INDEFATIGABLE CREATIVITY

Ever-creative Rick Owens doesn't so much put on fashion shows as transport guests to a parallel universe for 15 minutes each season.

The U.S.-born designer was in fine form on Thursday with a surreal cosmic collection that almost looked as if it would be at home in outer space.

Models stomped in huge moon boots in black and gray across the shimmering metal podium structure erected outside Paris' Palais de Tokyo.

White punk vests with cords that evoked alien-like sinews and organic tissue exposed flesh on waif-like male models with visible bones.

Torsos sported large sections of voluminous shiny technical fabric that evoked space suit textiles.

But the styles might also have been inspired by punks, goths, soldiers and even sculpture.

And that's the point: Owens' clothes intentionally provoke myriad interpretations.

Coats came sleeveless or had long arms that obscured the hands. Some jackets were rendered off-kilter and otherworldly by tiny silhouettes that scrunched up the models' torsos.

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ISSEY MIYAKE'S DESERT TREK

It was man versus the elements for Issey Miyake.

Designer Yusuke Takahashi imagined a journey into the inhumanly hot desert for the spring-summer collection.

And sweating fashionistas — who fanned themselves with program notes to defend against the sweltering Paris heat wave — didn't need to exert themselves further trying to imagine how that desert might feel.

Loose double-face cotton jackets, sometimes in a cross-over style, were presented in earth colors. Below, baggy cotton North African-style pants with pleats and a floppy waist fastening followed pants cut above the ankle with a rippled texture that evoked the roughness of sand.

Later, the desert was suggested again in the rippled patterning on some decidedly un-summerlike dark coats.

One enveloping, oversized, shin-length coat provoked moans of sympathy for the male model from some guests in the front row.

But the program notes reassured that the fabric was "lightweight and designed with functional elements in mind."

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

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