The models were still in the dressing room when the fashion show began at Cafe Med the other night with the arrival of guests anxious to view the fashions of Georgetown's new Retro-Paris shop. The young "Euro" set, who walk like blase' runway models, mousse their hair and speak French even if they're from New Jersey, were waiting for a preview of the clothes they love to wear -- the Paris street look. Free champagne flowed, cigarettes dangled, and the deejay played Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Frenchman Sylvain Melloul, owner of Visage hair salon in Georgetown, has imported the clothing of unknown Paris designers for Retro-Paris. Melloul wanted to open a shop that would serve the needs of his young and sophisticated salon clientele.
How does the clothing business compare with the hair business? "Well," said Melloul, "the hair is much more important, because you have to live with it for a while. But the look of hair has gone casual, looser, and clothes are following that look."
Models with the latest in tousled do's decorated with bright head wraps danced through the cafe wearing cotton and silk stirrup pants, boxer shorts, big shirts and cotton suits in bold geometric prints, paisleys, pastels and florals.
The show was meant to demonstrate "how to coordinate an outfit, how to be a little more gutsy," said Melloul. "Some of the clothes are trendy, some less trendy, but they are all still chic.
"The key is versatility -- not to stock a large amount of merchandise and get stuck with it. We will reorder every month, bringing in new things from Paris with the same look and prices as the trendy Paris shops."
Randy Booth, a model in the show, said he liked the clothes because they are "fashion forward and not pricey, something that you don't expect when shopping in Georgetown."