Paris haute couture: Christian Lacroix and Chanel

7th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 7, 2006 (AFP) - Rebellious if practical chic ruled at Chanel on Thursday while Christian Lacroix was in the mood for a romantic journey through his fashion favourites.

PARIS, July 7, 2006 (AFP) - Rebellious if practical chic ruled at Chanel on Thursday while Christian Lacroix was in the mood for a romantic journey through his fashion favourites.

From their washed-out thigh-high tops right down to the bejewelled high heels, Karl Lagerfeld's haute couture 'jeans' boots seemed to rebel against Chanel's sleek mini dresses.

Even a sweet, capped-sleeved 'Little Black Dress' sprinkled with a modern version of Coco Chanel's camellias was teamed with high boots that looked like jeans - as well as long denim gloves.

"The attitude is stronger like this," the veteran German designer said after Thursday's autumn-winter 2006-07 catwalk show, adding: "It would be too simple to put a pair of jeans under a dress."

Prompting a frenzy of camera flashes were star guests Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue, along with her Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, Sheeba, and British rocker Elton John.

After opting to showcase last season's collection in the vast 19th century Grand Palais, amply illuminated by its huge glass ceiling, the iconic fashion house this time turned to a kind of big top in a Paris forest.

But the circus tent was immaculate white, bathed in light from the summer sun and glaringly bright, as models took to the circled runway around the edge, in front of an audience seated facing outwards.

For the finale, it was the guests who were slowly spinned.

Layering was again key to the Chanel look. Lagerfeld kept his silhouette either starkly straight, clean and angular, or gently puffed, but always short for skirts, coats and dresses, whose sleeves were either cutely capped or cut to the elbow over long gloves.

"The high gloves are the boots of the arms," the pony-tailed designer quipped.

A neat black coat with shiny trim embodied young modernity for practical day wear, while rich embroidery or colourful jewels punctuated the waist or shoulders on dressy short and long frocks.

From 1960s tailoring to the Spanish Renaissance, Lacroix's influences unleashed a rich tapestry of moods and styles that were all equally sumptuous in colour, cut and detail.

"I see now the periods which since childhood have bothered me, everything that is dear to me," the French designer said just before his show opened at Paris' prestigious Fine Arts School.

Models wore black wigs with a rose attached while Lacroix also mixed and matched textures and thick and fine fabrics, such as a green velvet jacket with delicate silvery sleeves over a puffed brocade skirt.

Dazzling tights embroidered on the calf, in plum, tomato red and bright blue were coquettish under more subdued or classic coloured-outfits, while a sweet bow, also in bold hues, accented the bust, back or neck.

With beautifully billowed sleeves, soft draping on dresses and tier upon tier of frothy frills, the intricate savoir-faire that goes into these garments drew warm applause from the crowd.

Later on, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy invited the fashion crowd on a poetic journey that explored the furthest corners of the globe from India, Africa and Brazil, to Maori culture.

As colours shifted from warm earth and spicy tones to darker shades, so the volumes and silhouettes became more spectacular. While pleating was soft, it flowed with voluminous effect on a full skirt, while feather headdresses rounded off the dramatic effect.

Jean Paul Gaultier of France and Lebanon's Elie Saab feature on the last day of the Paris haute couture season on Friday, which also sees a return by French fashion house Carven to the calendar.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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