PARIS Jan 22 Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld
sent two models dressed as brides alongside his tiny godson down
the catwalk on Tuesday in a public show of support for French
government plans to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.
The models and Lagerfeld's four-year-old godson took the
final bow at the German designer's Chanel haute couture show
before Lagerfeld gave voice to his opinions on the subject in an
interview with Reuters after the show.
"I do not understand why people who live together cannot
have the same security as those bourgeois who are married," said
one of the fashion world's most successful designers, who is
also renowned for his controversial comments on everything from
politics to celebrity personalities.
"Two women getting married, I find that natural, and having
two mothers is a good thing."
The French government's proposals have divided opinion and
sparked huge protests both in favour and against.
Earlier this month, roughly half a million people marched
through Paris demanding that President Francois Hollande
withdraw the reform bill and hold a national debate on the
However, the government said it remained determined to
submit the legislation to parliament and pass it by June.
Lagerfeld's show was held as usual in the cavernous Grand
Palais, which was transformed into a gigantic forest with
towering pine trees surrounding a wooden amphitheatre where
models strutted in white sand.
The nature-inspired collection featuring embroidered tulle
and sequined flowers echoed the garden-themed show presented on
Monday by Belgian designer Raf Simons for Christian Dior
Tulips, roses, camellias and birds of paradise took centre
stage at Chanel, embroidered on sequined tulle dresses which
took more than 1,000 hours to make, Lagerfeld said.
Models paraded in long-lace boots with open toes and shiny
heels that gave their silhouettes a romantic and modern touch.
"As nature is threatened, might as well celebrate it,"
MABILLE AND ROLLAND
On Monday evening, Alexis Mabille, who presented his first
collection as a full-fledged member of Parisian haute couture,
opted for evening gowns in sorbet colours, crafted with
intricate embroidery, delicate lace and clouds of tulle.
Striking pieces included a retro 1940s style siren-shaped
scarlet dress and black tuxedo outfit with a thigh-high slit
that seemed designed for entertainer Dita Von Teese, who was
sitting on the front row.
Later on Tuesday, French designer Stephane Rolland, known
for his Parisian workshop's couture dresses, said he was
branching out into ready-to-wear with a first boutique in Abu
Dhabi scheduled to open end-March.
The designer, whose sculptural wares are favoured by Middle
Eastern women, said he planned to open other boutiques in the
region as well as in London and in China. Rolland declined to
give a precise timeline for the other boutiques nor reveal the
identity of the business partner.
Asked if the partner was French, Rolland told Reuters:
"There are no French financiers (for fashion), they do not exist
Rolland, who dresses the glamorous wife of the emir of
Qatar, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, worked until last year to help
the secretive Qatar Luxury Group create a luxury brand from
The launch of the brand, to be called Qela, was initially
planned to coincide with Qatar's first fashion week in March
last year but was postponed several times.
The group made its first acquisition in 2011 with
Paris-listed French accessories brand Le Tanneur for 26 million
euros ($34.62 million) and said on its website it remains on the
lookout for acquisitions.
Rolland presented a sculptural black and white collection
with a 1970s James Bond-themed edge dominated by long flowing
capes and see-through, sequined trains.
At the Palais de Tokyo modern art museum in Paris, models
strutted on silver platforms wearing close-fitting silk-crepe
backless dresses with emerald crystal embroidery and
sash-dresses with ostrich feathers or organza embroidery.
Rolland concluded his show by sending 82-year old model
Carmen Dell'Orefice down the catwalk in an ivory white tuxedo
ornamented with white corals and an oversize flowing cape.
($1 = 0.7510 euros)
(Additional reporting by Elena Berton, editing by Paul