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Sex & Sexuality On The Runway

Davis Curtis (center) with models

Davis Curtis (center) with models

PARIS, Jul 2, 2004/ FW/ — It’s only the first day of the Paris menswear season and the “sex and sexuality” trend that has gripped Milan is already apparent at the City of Lights.

Beginning with the season’s first show, David Kurtis, who made his debut this season in Paris, entitled his collection, “David Kurtis Loves Men.” Backstage after the show, when asked about his provocative title, the 24-year old designers answered, “It’s about men and their body and being able to show it off with clothes in an artistic way.”

And young David did show a man’s body off, sending his models wearing skimpy body suits with lace trims on the sides, shaped like rectangular keyholes. Taking inspiration from men’s swimsuits during the early 1900s, David Kurtis put a little reference of the upcoming Olympics Games, subtle as it maybe.

Modern men see the Olympics as a celebration of athletic prowess. Yet, according to ancient Greek mythology, it is actually a celebration for Aphrodite (or Venus in Roman mythology), the goddess of love.

Even the symbols of the modern day Olympiad, the 5 rings is based on the symbology of a union of man and woman, with the little cross and arrow taken off! It’s sex and sexuality taken in a spiritual context.

Groom & Groom on the Gaultier runway

Groom & Groom on the Gaultier runway

At Jean Paul Gaultier’s show later in the afternoon, another type of union took center stage on the runway of the crowned king of French fashion’s new headquarters in rue Saint Martin.

Making a political statement on the last part of his show, Jean Paul Gaultier sent two male models – a bride and groom on the runway. When they returned to the stage, a whole wedding party (composed of the other models in the show) was waiting for them, complete with a wedding cake made of bread, a subtle reference to the designer’s exhibition at the Cartier Foundation.

With this single masterful stroke, Gaultier put on the limelight the ‘gay marriage’ issue that is also gripping France at the moment. Like the U.S. wherein same-sex marriage is a hot topic, France is also undergoing the same way.

According to French papers, a prominent city mayor (city major is equivalent to a state governor in the U.S.) had been ‘suspended’ from his duties by the French government for performing marriage rites to same sex couples.

Though currently, there is same-sex union allowed in French laws, same-sex couples do not enjoy the same rights and privileges of heterosexual couples.

The more one reads about it, the more the symmetry between what is happening in the U.S. can be seen.

It seems that the U.S. and France have something in common after all! With the American-Franco relations deteriorating in the past few years, a common bond among its people has emerged in the most unlikely place.

And far-fetched it maybe, the common issue shared by the two countries has a possibility of leading them to friendly relations once again. Now, the French and Americans have a common topic to discuss, their two governments included.

[MARI DAVIS]

(Photos above: (1)Designer David Kurtis (center) on the runway; (2)From the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2005 collection.)