Jan 22, 2008
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Exuberant tour de force from Lacroix

Jan 22, 2008

PARIS, Jan 22, 2008 (AFP) - Christian Lacroix pulled off an exuberant tour de force with his summer haute couture collection on Tuesday January 22nd, which was a riot of colour and brimming with gowns in which to get noticed.

Lacroix pulled off an exuberant tour de force with his summer haute couture collection on Tuesday, which was a riot of colour and brimming with gowns in which to get noticed - Photo : Patrick Kovarik/AFP

Lacroix does not dress shrinking violets and some chutzpah would be needed to carry off many of his creations. But every single number was a testament to the level of workmanship and perfection that is the hallmark of couture - from the precious fabrics used wantonly to the lavish detail.

With the speed of a catwalk presentation, there was no time to take it all in ... antique gold embroidered lace frothing out over a skirt, encrustations of beading and passementerie on shiny satin, geometric motifs and appliqued flowers down the front of a cropped jacket, a delicate silver frieze on navy blue crepe ... all flashed past in a whirl.

For his ballgowns he went for drama, long-line bodices cut close to the body billowing out into voluminous skirts in stiff faille or long flounced trains in silk chiffon. Sleeves, too, came big, leg-of-mutton or ballooned like overblown roses.

A hand-woven saffron wool coat dangled with giant pompoms in bubblegum pink, day-glo lime and orange, while one in fake leopardskin had fluttery feather sleeves over an organza dress with coppery lace flounces.

Outsized black and white polka dots, gingham checks and silk chiffon handpainted with broad-brush strokes in magenta and inky blue competed for attention.

Models had their hair pulled back into a long single plait entwined with artificial flowers and wore black and white striped shoes with ribbon ankle ties.

As well as the invited guests, hordes of mesmerised tourists were glued to the windows of the Pompidou arts centre in downtown Paris watching the show.

Italian Maurizio Galante is one of just two designers to recently gain official designation for his work in haute couture from the French fashion body which lays down the rules.

On a far less grand scale than Lacroix he sent out a modest collection featuring skimpy asymmetric dresses in devore printed chiffon, dramatic opera capes in pleated silk organza and ultra-lightweight boleros in bands of tulle.

For a finale, his models twirled around to show off the shape of frocks cleverly constructed from layer upon layer of superimposed silk organza, cut in triangles or half moons.

by Sarah Shard

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