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By
AFP
Published
Oct 1, 2008
Reading time
3 minutes
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Lacroix says it with flowers

By
AFP
Published
Oct 1, 2008

PARIS, Oct 1, 2008 (AFP) - It's become a tradition to pelt Christian Lacroix with the carnations left on the seats at his haute couture shows, but on Wednesday, October 1st the designer's favourite flower starred on the frocks.


Christian Lacroix Fashion Show

For his ready-to-wear summer 2009 collection his fetish print was of giant carnations in dusty pink and crimson on a black background, a subdued version of the house's favourite hot fuschia and red combination.

"I realised I'd never really done a carnation print before," he told AFP backstage.

Faux carnations were merrily sprinkled throughout: perched singly on the tops of shoulders, pinned to collars or waists, while a virtual bouquet of them was appliqued to the front of creamy knits.

For subtle layering effects he superimposed black and white polka dots over stripes or vice versa in sheer chiffons, even mixing in the floral print for good measure.

The show was also a conscious return to his Arles roots, he explained. His toreadors' outfits had stiff black capes standing out at the back with a glimpse of a boned nude corset at the midriff and pants with stripes of gold thread embroidery.

Scissor-pleated ruffles and touches of lace spilled out from the sleeves and down the front of blouses enclosed in curvy jackets with double peplums and organza flounces.

Bracelets like whorls of Provencal black embroidery enclosed wrists and outsize pleated black bows were planted on the behinds of tightly fitting hobble skirts.

Models with panama hats pulled down over their long loose hair set the laid-back tone of Esteban Cortazar's summer collection for Emanuel Ungaro.

The Colombian-born designer seems totally at ease with the house's vocabulary, sending out batches of pretty, feminine frocks and bold prints with a distinct Latino-American feel.

He opened with easy, big shirts, gathered at the neckline, falling off at the shoulder or with sleeves rolled up, with wide belts over white jeans or peasant skirts.

Hemlines were micro-mini, but short dresses with fluted pleats had underskirts to preserve decency.

For evening his asymmetric silk chiffon sheaths in saffron, emerald and peacock blue were ruched tightly round the body, with ties at the shoulder or hem, ending in billowing trains.

The 24-year-old, who looks even younger, beamed as he came out for his bow, totally unfazed, even though it was only his second time in Paris.

Riccardo Tisci's austere and sophisticated show for Givenchy included capes with epaulettes, jackets with shoulders and sleeves spangled with crystals and black shirts with leg'o'mutton sleeves embroidered with jet.

Second-skin trousers made legs look tapered and jackets redefined the shoulders, while black leather was lightened up with white and gold.

Front-row celebrities applauding included 1970s icon, Salvador Dali's former muse, Amanda Lear and French actress Beatrice Dalle.

Singaporean designer Andrew Gn was inspired by the formidable founder of the cosmetics empire, Helena Rubenstein, famed for her extravagant taste in jewellery, coming back from a trip to India.

His luxurious evening gowns in paisley print or rich jewel-coloured silks had belts bristling with semi-precious stones, turquoise, malachite, lapiz lazuli, jasper and amethyst.

Insect motifs fashioned from topazes were sprinkled over a crepe cocktail suit, while a ball skirt was embroidered with branches of pink coral.

Models wore statement bracelets nearly up to their elbows on each arm.by Sarah Shard

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