Collette Dinnigan and Akira Isogawa's Collections Hit Paris Fashion Week

Some of Australia's top designers have helped wrap up Paris Fashion Week with an array of stunning collections in bold colours and playful prints.

Collette Dinnigan and Akira Isogawa were among the Australians to show their spring-summer collections in the City of Lights.

Dinnigan's upbeat and sassy show, under the prestigious Louvre museum, had natural-looking models in hot tangerine, grecian-inspired slip dresses and barely-there, micro-shorts topped with tightly belted jackets.

The collection was a move away from Dinnigan's signature girly style to a more grown-up cool.

"I wanted to create something really confident and strong, but still feminine and ladylike," Dinnigan told AAP backstage.

"The look is fresh, young and sporty but luxurious at the same time."

But the star designer was careful not to stray too far from her style roots, outing luscious, floor-skimming, satin dresses in dazzling jewel colours, fit for a silver screen goddess.

Dinnigan has long been a favourite of Hollywood beauties such as Kate Bosworth and Charlize Theron.

"It's a while since I've shown long gowns, so I felt it was a good time to get them out again in all these great colours. Just perfect for the Oscars," she said.

Bright, flashy colours have been one of the hottest trends to come out of this season's European shows, and they also made a spectacular splash at Martin Grant's parade.

The Melbourne-born designer's show had an edgy, arthouse flavour perfectly in keeping with its setting at Paris's elite Fine Arts School.

Models with Japanese geisha-style hairdos began parading in neutral tones which gradually intensified to emerald greens and electric pinks, turning the runway into a flowing colour spectrum.

Grant's trademark impeccable tailoring and sculptural forms were in full display, with sharply structured tan, leather jackets teamed with sexy, silvery shorts.

Seductive, sleek below-the-knee dresses came in a pallette of hot fuschia and scarlet-pink.

A standout were multi-pleated pants which billowed cheekily with every step.

"I started working with big pleats, then added more volume and air," the Paris-based designer said.

"This time I was really influenced by the aesthetics of Japanese textiles and kimonos."

Japanese touches were a key trend on the international catwalks this season making it particularly timely for Sydney-based Akira Isogawa.

The Japanese-born designer frequently travels to his hometown Kyoto to buy patterned Kimono silks which he develops into his signature prints in his Sydney studio.

Opting out of a catwalk extravaganza in Paris, he instead showed his collection to some of the world's top buyers and media in the chic surroundings of an elegant showroom near the Place Vendome.

Loose dresses and tops were cut out of delicate silks in shades of crimson and violet or white.

Highlights included a red reversible skirt and jacket, intricately embroidered with deep pink details.

Akira has shown in Paris for eight years and says it is the most creative city on the fashion map.

But there were great advantages to being based in Australia, he said.

"There are only a handful of creative designers in Australia making a really unique style," he said.

"Because it is smaller, there's more acceptance of your work, and Australians really welcome fresh ideas."

Brisbane's biggest fashion export and fellow Paris Fashion Week veterans, Easton Pearson, agree.

Design duo Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson say working in Australia helps them maintain their individuality.

"It's nice to go home, all the way back to Australia, at the end of a really intense week in Paris and work in a sort of shell because it helps us focus," said Pearson.

The pair revealed their spring-summer wear in a charming hotel set on the romantic 15th century square, Place des Voges in the historical Marais area.

Silk and sequined slip dresses sported dramatic contemporary designs in a pallette of deep yellow, chocolate brown and watery turquoise.

"We played with traditional prints, then enlarged them so they became completely out of scale," Pearson said.

"It gives the patterns an abstract and modernist feel."

Easton said the collection was a continuation of the designers' fascination with the marriage of arts and crafts, aimed at women wanting to cut an individual but glamorous dash.

"It's all about wanting to dress up and be different, and not about being a slave to what's in," she said.


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