HISTORY LESSON

2010 Collections Feature Warrior Helmets

John Galliano may have created the unique Lawrence of Arabia to Egyptian-inspired swimwear for his 2010 men’s collection—shown recently in Paris—but he is not alone in invoking the images of Arabian kings, deserts and Napoleonic adventures. The runways of Paris abounded this season with nods to Arabic culture, from Givenchy’s tribal pants and studded tunics paired with helmet headdresses to the actual sand poured on the runway at the finale of the Kenzo show. “I looked to Arabic warriors in history and to Morocco,” said Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, while other designers like Ann Demeulemeester invoked similar sentiments with her necklaces resembling barbed wire and her leather cummerbunds. However innovative, these collections were not without harsh critics.