Fashion

At Christian Lacroix the approach was definitely 'more is more', with intricate detailing and opulent fabrics key to the look
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Karl Lagerfeld had taken a different tack with his collection for Chanel, where clean lines and muted colours - such as this standout black lampshade dress - made for an edgy show
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Peruvian culture was the inspiration at Givenchy, with models hitting the catwalk in poncho-style dresses
Photo: Getty Images

Lacroix and Chanel present couture collections in Paris

2 JULY 2008
On day two of the haute couture shows in Paris it was the turn in the spotlight of Lacroix, Chanel and Givenchy. As high-society ladies and A listers including Helen Mirren settled down to take in the made-to-measure masterpieces on display, the three legendary labels presented their spectacular visions for the coming autumn/winter season.

The Queen actress Helen, who was dressed by Lacroix when she accepted her Academy Award last year, was front row at the French maestro's extravagant show in the Pompidou Centre. Marie Antoinette-style gowns in opulent silk taffeta fabrics were the order of the day.

As a Buddhist prayer wheel whirled beside it, the catwalk was filled with vividly coloured creations which paid homage to the vibrant culture of Tibet. Among them was a stunning high-waisted floral gown with scarlet sleeves and matching bow detail at the waist. Equally standout was an intricately embroidered silk bridal gown, covered with tiny roses and bows.

At Chanel Karl Lagerfeld took a more minimal approach, as models in cylindrical-shaped suits and dresses paraded around a giant steel replica of organ pipes - an element which was incorporated into the embroidery on sleeves and hemlines. The key silhouette was V-shaped, with lampshade skirts teamed with plunge-neck tops in smokey greys and simple blacks.

The Givenchy catwalk was intended to represent Peru's famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, a fitting backdrop for Riccardo Tisci's striped poncho-style dresses in an earthy palette of browns and beiges. Also reflecting the South American inspiration behind the Italian couturier's collection were a series of knits featuring llama designs.