High fashion goes religious at Gaultier

25th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - To solemn organ music and the rising vapours of incense, models in veils or shimmering halos graced the catwalk of fashion's erstwhile 'enfant terrible' Jean Paul Gaultier.

PARIS, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - To solemn organ music and the rising vapours of incense, models in veils or shimmering halos graced the catwalk of fashion's erstwhile 'enfant terrible' Jean Paul Gaultier.

With his procession of outfits given names such as "communion", "miracle" and "blessing", the French designer shrouded his haute couture collection for next spring/summer in a religious theme -- but did so without too much austerity.

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and French actress Catherine Deneuve were among the glamorous front-row guests at Wednesday's show, while dancer and model Dita von Teese took a turn on the catwalk.

So, while hoods and chasubles -- a garment usually worn by priests to celebrate mass -- sought to present an image of devout piety, Gaultier tossed in plunging necklines, transparent fabrics or bare shoulders to prevent it becoming excessive.

The celestial blue of a long gown brought to mind Our Lady of Lourdes, while a cross was cut out on a short dress embroidered in black sequins, and cherubs adorned a sheath dress.

And the red of a bleeding heart trickled down the front of a grey dress.

There was more theatrical drama from Franck Sorbier, who also unveiled his vision of fashion's made-to-order luxury on the third day of collections being shown in the French capital.

When the velvet curtain rose to reveal the stage of the ornate Theatre du Palais Royal, a model stood motionless, looking like an elegant black widow in a sleek, sleeveless dress, holding the hand of a skeleton.

Like the attic of an old haunted house with eclectic objects such as a gilt framed portrait, a harp, a huge mirror and even a statue of a sphynx, static heroines presented an atmospheric tale of couture skill, technique and variety.

It ranged from chic yet sober wide black trousers paired with a low-cut jacket with slits in the arms to allow a white blouse to slip through, to a futuristic silver trapeze dress with neat symmetry in long black gloves and boots.

Or still, a live, pure white pony to match the thick feather-like tutu skirt that swept upwards.

At Carven, a breezy pairing of navy and ivory added up to a Parisian freshness that was smart and brought an aura of understated luxury to daywear, especially with the rich embroidery.

Pascal Millet, designer at the French fashion house created by Carmen Carven in 1945, cut necklines in soft circular scoops, or finished edges with scallops, to sweet effect.

At Maison Martin Margiela, oil canvases, travel bags and vintage basketball style sneakers were among the surprising items given a second life for garments in the Belgian's artisanal collection.

On Thursday, newcomers to the Paris haute couture calendar will wrap up the four-day run of shows. The day's line-up includes the British label Boudicca by the duo Zowie Broach and Brian Kirby and France's Lefranc-Ferrant by Beatrice Ferrant and Mario Lefranc.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News, Fashion

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