Shell-like details and a mother-of-pearl palette were the signatures of Karl Lagerfeld's ocean-inspired show
Photo: Getty Images
Click on photos for gallery

At Givenchy the catwalk was dominated by highly structured creations fashioned from folds of organza
Photo: Getty Images

Drama was all at Lacroix, where the catwalk was dominated by a series of sizzling hues
Photo: Getty Images

Chanel goes on a voyage under the sea as Lacroix courts colour

23 JANUARY 2008
Drawings of shells and molluscs inspired Chanel maestro Karl Lagerfeld's Spring/Summer 2008 haute couture collection, which was shown in Paris on Tuesday.

Even the fashion house's signature buttoned jacket paid homage to the theme, with seashell-rose versions paired with skirts that enfolded the thigh in delicate swirls which echoed the inside of a tropical shore dweller's home.

Longer dresses in cream and silver tulle were draped at the hips with clever detailing that suggested oyster shells. While diamante-encrusted bodices were embellished with a design recreating the effect of sea foam.

"You see its Coco Shell, as well as Coco Chanel," explained the designer, after showing to an enthusiastic celebrity-packed front row including Troy actress Diane Kruger, Claudia Schiffer and filmmaker Sofia Coppola.

"Everyone thinks of Chanel for the jacket, but she was responsible for many ideas and shapes for designing around the body," he added.

A world away from Lagerfeld's subtle, mysterious designs were Christian Lacroix's latest couture offerings. The label's catwalk show was an exuberant riot of colours, featuring dramatic gowns with billowing skirts in bubblegum pink, day-glo lime and orange.

Over at Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tischi was also going for high drama, presenting 16th-century inspired structures constructed from voluminous folds of organza in white and poppy red.