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French fashion label rallies to support press freedom from Trump

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French fashion label rallies to support press freedom from Trump
Etudes studios owners Aurelien Arbet (L) and Jeremie Egry (C) and designer Jose Lamali (R), salute after the show during the men's Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection in Paris on Sat
05:05 CET+01:00
Paris fashion stood up for press freedom Saturday with two brands linking up with the New York Times to show their unease at Donald Trump's attacks on the media.
Japanese brand Sacai and French label Etudes used slogans from the newspaper's "The Truth is Hard" advertising campaign on their clothes in their men's winter collections.
 
Sacai designer Chitose Abe included all 19 lines of the declaration issued by the Times last February, to defend itself and other outlets from persistent attacks by the US president, on the back of a T-shirt and hoodie. She wore a black one herself emblazoned with the Times' logo and the lines,"Truth. It's more important now than ever."
 
Abe told AFP that her stance was not political as such "but I do think what the New York Times said is right and that's why I wanted to collaborate and support them.
 
"It is also about the importance of tolerance and accepting everyone... and about goodness," she added.
 
Fashion houses tend to be notoriously circumspect about politics and designers are rarely drawn to comment upon it. But Abe, one of Japan's most important female designers, also included bags and clothes inspired by Sioux and Native American art in her show.    
 
Sioux activists long resisted an oil pipeline across their ancestral lands in North Dakota until Trump used the US Army to push it through.
 
 'Don't mess with me, Russia'
 
The young French label Etudes also used the New York Times' logo on scarves in another collaboration with the newspaper.
 
Designers Jeremy Egry and Aurelien Arbet told AFP that they did not "want to send a political message but obviously we want to support freedom of expression."
 
Russia also came in for oblique criticism on the catwalk at the Vetements show late on Friday. The ultra-hip label, which has been a major Paris trendsetter, is led by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia, who had to flee his home in Abkhazia as a child when Russian supported a separatist revolt in the region in 1993.
 
Moscow later invaded Georgia in 2008 to support another breakaway region, South Ossetia.
 
"Russia don't you mess around with me," read one of the collages on the T-shirts that the arch-provocateur Gvasalia sent out. He later told reporters that the collages had been made by randomly by cutting up "some of my favourite T-shirts. It wasn't done on purpose," he added with a smile.
 
Hollywood star Robert Pattinson and supermodel Bella Hadid headed a starry guest list at the Dior men's show, which stood up for the virtues of classy tailoring in a world of streetwear slackness.
 
Belgian designer Kris Van Assche sent out a few grown-up men and grey beards to spice up his squadron of young models and show that style had no age limit to at Dior.
 
"We live in a time when they say tailoring is over, everything has to be loose, baggy and oversized," he told AFP.
 
"But I think it is important to insist on our values, what makes us different from the others," he said of his collection, which mixed his new, nipped doubled breasted suits with plenty of tailored streetwear.
 
By AFP's Fiachra Gibbons
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