09/25/2012 07:35 EDT | Updated 11/25/2012 05:12 EST

Show behind iconic clock-face starts Paris fashion week

PARIS - It was a secretive and rather low-key start to Paris' ready-to-wear week with post-punk design house Impasse de la Defence, whose colorful spring-summer 2013 show took place tucked away behind the iconic clock face of the Gare de l'Est train station.

The central loudspeaker — announcing train information — punctuated the show.

Aside from provoking chuckles from fashion insiders, this added a street feel to the eclectic and contemporary mix of vibrant patchwork dresses, outre tulle bridal skirts and large shawls printed with images of clock architecture.

The "soundtrack" — a single harmonica played from the sidelines by a man who looked like a busker — provided a nice dash of boho insouciance for the many the casual and loose-fitting splash-dyed mid-length dresses.

Designer Karim Bonnet said he'd channeled German street style after a holiday there last summer — but at times, the clock seemed to turn right back to early seventies flower power.

The nicest elements were the imaginative prints of cameras and the spines of novels that featured on large shawls — an Impasse de la Defence signature.

At times, though, the sheer size of the shawls — which models had wrapped around them — made them look clumsy. The message of the prints would have been effective had Bonnet featured them on the dresses themselves.


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