Bad boys rule on first day of Paris men's fashion

Bad boys ruled as designers in Paris kicked off the menswear season on Friday with a nod to rebellious icons.

Superbrand Louis Vuitton referenced 1960s screen idols like Alain Delon and Terence Stamp with a sophisticated collection that ran the gamut from velvet jackets to slim trench coats.

Sonia Rykiel paid homage to French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, who died 15 years ago but remains an emblem of cool for younger generations.

Yohji Yamamoto, meanwhile, riffed on pinstriped gangster suits inspired by the Italian mobsters of film classic "The Godfather."

Vuitton held its show against a video backdrop of a shimmering blue pool that left sweltering guests hankering for a cold swim. This heralded a Hawaiian theme that ran from hibiscus flower prints to Elvis Presley crooning on the soundtrack.

"I think it created such a lovely spring and summery vibe, without being in any way kitsch or silly," designer Marc Jacobs told reporters after the show.

Indeed, if the show set a cinematic mood, it was less "Blue Hawaii" and more "Catch Me If You Can." Think Leonardo DiCaprio in a trim suit and trilby hat.

Crisp cotton shirts were worn unbuttoned over loosely tied silk scarves, while a cotton pique jacket and matching waistcoat came accessorized with a large rhinestone pin that spelled "Louis."

Jacobs, looking exceptionally svelte as a result of his strict new diet ("no sugar, no butter, no milk all the things I adore"), said the label's new menswear designer Paul Helvers and his team had combined exotic influences with Victorian tailoring.

"There was a nonchalance throughout the whole collection. The looks that were casual were dressed up and the dressed up looks were undone. They referenced classic garments in the men's wardrobe from the trench coat to the gilet," he said.

Rykiel also provided plenty for the city slicker, with trim suits done up in techno-style and lightweight knits with bold colored stripes.

Belted safari jackets and gauzy long cardigans were designed for a confident man who doesn't mind breaking the rules _ just like Gainsbourg, the chain-smoking iconoclast best known for the erotic ballad "Je t'aime...moi non plus."

Nathalie Rykiel, who designs the line with her mother Sonia, said she often harked back to the singer because he personified the artsy style of the Left Bank home to the Rykiel family and their empire.

"He was incredibly charming, super intelligent, with an elegance and a style all of his own. That's what's inspiring," she told The Associated Press after the show.

Yamamoto's collection, presented in the Centre Pompidou modern art museum, centered around high waisted pants held up by 1940s-style suspenders with leather ends.

But this was no retro rehash. The suspenders were woven through little vents in the back of sports jackets to form a Y-shape a subtle reminder of the designer's initials.

These loosely tailored suits gave his thugs a perfectly modern allure.

With their silver cowboy boots and straw bowler hats, they exuded an air of quiet eccentricity not unlike Japanese movie gangster Takeshi Kitano, with whom Yamamoto has collaborated on several films, reports AP.

O.Ch.