NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Fashion in the Eye of the Beholder

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A few still-primitive cultures inexplicably celebrate such female adornments as the stacking of metal neck rings and the inserting of saucer-size disks into pierced earlobes. For "civilized" society, there's the annual Paris Fashion Week in September, when renowned designers outfit brave, otherwise-gorgeous models in grotesque clothing. Among the ensembles witnessed by a New York Times critic this year: a hat resembling steroid-enhanced stalks of peas, a shoe appearing to sprout twig-studs, "a flexible cage covered in doughnuts of black satin" and a pillow clutch with (for some reason) its own porthole.

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