Oct 5, 2007
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From starry nights to stars and stripes at Chanel

Oct 5, 2007

PARIS, Oct 5, 2007 (AFP) - It was a starry, starry night at Karl Lagerfeld's ready-to-wear collection for Chanel on Friday, october 5th, with twinkling constellations and crescent moons the stars of the show.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel collection spring-summer 2008
Photo : François Guillot/AFP

The models emerged from a giant version of the fashion house's signature bow onto a vast midnight-blue catwalk to evoke the "summer nights" title which the German designer gave his collection.

His starlit skies print in blue-black spangled with silvery stars and, naturally, the house logo, was equally at home for day or night, whether for easy, wide-cut palazzo pants or a refined midi cocktail frock with puffed sleeves.

And when paired with sassy Chanel tweed jackets with frayed seams in dinky red-and-white stripes, it suddenly became a take on the American Stars and Stripes.

A magnificent simple black column dress with kimono sleeves had gilt crescent moons let into the sides, with the trompe l'oeil effect of narrowing the waist.

But the general tendency was to pile on the bling, with intertwined metal stars and Chanel logos and chains threaded through giant eyelets for a luxury version of punk.

Lagerfeld also showed a sequence of denim, including swimsuits and skimpy bikini bottoms worn with pink heathermix tweed cardigans, and slouchy rainbow knitwear with matching ankle socks and a tennis racket with the inevitable house logo.

And for girls who want to dance the night away without being encumbered by a handbag, this season's platform shoes have a dinky little quilted bag attached to the ankle, with just enough room for a credit card, lipstick or the taxi fare home.

Singers Courtney Love and Lily Allen were among the front row stars in the audience.

The American Stars and Stripes turned up again in the very next show, by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, jostling for attention with Olympic rings and gladiators in his usual exuberant and colourful collection sent out on a red-and-white striped runway.

The US flag was worked in sequins on a satin mini frock, worn by a model with a tiny "Coca Cola" bottle top hat perched on her head, swinging a Stars and Stripes bag and shod in matching platform-soled trainers.

His "fashion gladiators" wore gilt laurel crowns and billowing silk chiffon stamped with gold laurel leaves.

Naval uniform inspired dresses wittily shaped like anchors and jackets spewing gold chains from epaulettes.

Sporty casuals like mini catsuits and shifts were emblazoned with Olympic rings in the bright primary colours, red, blue, green and yellow, which are Castelbajac's signature.

Russian designer Alena Akhmadullina also took sport as her theme, painting her catwalk with numbered lanes like an athletics track, but the mood was distinctly downbeat, more unreconstructed Soviet than contemporary Russia.

Her models were coiffed severely or had their hair plastered down under plexiglass nets.

Unflattering shades of drab green, burnt orange, greys and maroon predominated, for rather plain shifts, vests and running shorts, and dowdy dresses with bloused tops and gathered skirts.

For a finale she sent out models in bodysuits with huge padded shoulders like American footballers to a soundtrack of stadium applause pierced by referee whistles.by Sarah Shard

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