'World's longest fashion show' kicks off in Paris

Posted at 06/28/2012 10:49 AM | Updated as of 06/28/2012 10:50 AM

PARIS, France - Three days and two nights in a Paris art gallery windowfront, with books and passers-by for company, a male model got settled in Wednesday for what is being billed as the longest-ever fashion show.

Scott Sternberg, founder of the fast-growing US label Band Of Outsiders, took over the gallery to showcase a look inspired by the Occupy protest movement -- and make his Paris debut on the sidelines of this week's menswear shows.

"We're playing on the idea of the immediacy of fashion, the sort of boom, boom runway," the 37-year-old told AFP backstage at the venue in the historic Marais district. "We're taking it slow and easy and seeing how that turns out."

The longest show ever? "Maybe that was a bit of hyperbole," he conceded with a grin.... I read something about something in Rio a few years ago. But it certainly feels like the longest show."

Five hours into the event, model Brendan Ruck waved jauntily from behind the glass as he polished off a carton of takeaway noodles, minding not to splash any onto his pajama-stripe bermudas and shirt, worn under a see-through poncho.

"It's been good so far -- they're feeding me well," joked the 21-year-old Canadian as he emerged to change into the next of the 25 outfits he will be sporting through til Friday evening.

"I made a few sketches and wrote a journal entry and I've been reading this book called 'Breakfast of Champions' that Scott gave me. It's pretty relaxed."

For the next three days home will be a tiny cubicle of plywood planks furnished with a deck chair and folding table, a Z-bed and duvet, some books and paints and his iPhone for company, and some vintage props for decoration.

"It's not torture!" laughed Sternberg. "We're taking good care of him."

For his latest look the designer -- known for his subversive take on preppy classics -- took his cue from the Occupy movement, American counterculture and the personal style of iconic 1960s and 1970s figures like Truman Capote.

Nods to the Occupy movement -- aside from squatting the gallery -- include camouflage motifs and "lots of hoods and ponchos -- what you think of when you see some poor group of protesters in the rain!".

"He's staging a protest of sorts," said Sternberg. "But he has nothing to protest about -- it's just a fashion show."

Running from 0700 GMT Wednesday to 1900 GMT Friday, the event is being fed live to the brand's website at www.bandofoutsiders.com. It wraps up with a party Friday evening, before the gallery is turned into a showroom for fashion buyers next week.

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