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Paris men's fashion week opens with shows depicting men as pigs, dogs

media A picture shows the messages "#Me too" and #Balancetonporc ("expose your pig") on the hand of a protester during a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence called by the Effronte-e-s Collective in Paris Bertrand GUAY / AFP

Paris men's fashion week began in earnest Wednesday with two collections depicting men as dogs and pigs, as the industry reels from a new sexual harassment scandal.

French designer Julien David sent out his models wearing dog's heads, from a macho, man-spreading Doberman to an intellectual whippet and a splayed poodle in dungarees.

"I wanted to study the human species with a bit of distance. It's a bit of a human laboratory," he told French news agency AFP of his show.

Yet as David put the final touches to his study of male types -- including a very predatory-looking German Shepherd with his tongue hanging out -- little did he know that the fashion world would be hit by new allegations this weekend that two star photographers had harassed a string of models.

Later a show by Flemish master Walter van Beirendonck presented men as pigs.

He led out his quirky collection with a litter of pig men in a seeming allusion to France's answer to the #MeToo campaign, #BalancetonPorc (Squeal on your pig).

With little piggy ears sticking out of their hoods, and strategically-placed holes over erogenous zones, the outfits took a dark and world-weary take on the male condition.

"One-eyed monster... Dream daddy... pig," read one of his skin-coloured, skin-tight tops worn with leather breeches and braces.

But David said his canine imagery was more about concentrating on the clothes, and said his dogs' heads were about shifting the emphasis away from the models and onto his eclectic style.

"When you look at the dog you don't pay attention to his character, and I wanted to have the same feeling here. If that guy on the top was a real person you would assume a lot of things about him," he said.

Real-life men rarely wear overly styled outfits, David said, but "bits of everything -- things he has from the past, things he just got, sporty things" that are comfortable.


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