Chloe Tips Hat to Lagerfeld's 'Genius' as Paris Shows Get Surreal

  • Fashion

Chloe paid tribute to its longtime designer Karl Lagerfeld at its Paris fashion week show Thursday, with a compendium of his wit and wisdom left on every seat.

One of the German creator's last muses, 17-year-old Kaia Gerber -- the daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, another Lagerfeld acolyte -- also walked for the label on a packed, starry and often surreal day on the catwalk.

The "Kaiser", who died at the age of 85 on February 19, made his name as a serious style player in his quarter century at the Parisian label known for its bohemian romance.

While he became synonymous in his later years with Chanel and the Italian label Fendi, he twice led Chloe, taking over in 1974 and returning again in 1992.

His arrival coincided with the rising feminist movement, with Vogue magazine calling his look "bold, confident, fun and liberating".

Chloe said his "incalculable genius... is eternally treasured by us and everyone who felt the freedom and beauty of wearing his clothes".

The compendium of postcards featured a iconic shot by photographer Frank Horvat from 1970 of Lagerfeld in Chloe's studio dressing the American Carol LeBrie, the first black model to feature on the cover of Italian Vogue.

- Fashion week's cutest moment -

Another from 1971 with Donna Jordan, dubbed the "Disco Marilyn", carried a typically Lagerfeld pronouncement: "In everyday life we are forced to be practical. All the more reason to go wild at night. Wildly gay, terribly audacious. I love dresses straight out of fairytales."

Fendi and Benetton were among a number of brands and designers who paid tribute to Lagerfeld at the Milan fashion shows last week.

There was little of the Lagerfeld legacy, however, in Chloe's current designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi's autumn winter show.

She sent out a typically knowing urban boho collection, with almost every model wearing metal shell and bear claw necklaces.

Her city slickers wore their yearning for nature and the great outdoors not just on their sleeves but also in prints of a couple walking through a wild wintry Irish landscape and in rustic tartans and checks.

The cut, however, was as sharply urban and street as it was romantic, which has become the very Parisian Ramsay-Levi's trademark.

Her mid-calf boots -- particularly the tartan ones -- and her new line in glasses, as modelled by Gerber, went down a treat on Instagram.

With Korean singer and actress Sandara "Dara" Park sharing the front row with Seoul-based Chinese star Meng Meiqi, the designer provided the cutest moment of fashion week so far by running to kiss her son as she took her bow after the show.

But the biggest smiles of the day were raised by the flamboyant Indian designer Manish Arora whose brimming baroque imagination rarely disappoints.

- Aliens, teapots and the Hadids -

Even for a designer who delights in going over the top, Arora outdid himself. It was as if the cast of Mad Max had careered through a Rajastani bazaar before colliding with a Rio carnival float only to come juddering to a halt in an acid house rave.

By calling his show "Finally Normal People", his tongue was so firmly in his check that it was almost sticking out of his ear.

Yet as always with Arora, individual pieces somehow worked, and his handbags were pure genius: VW camper vans, glittering gaping-mouthed sharks, a children's toy steamboat and a neon-lit oriental teapot -- all on wheels.

All of which made the influential US avant-gardist Rick Owens look much less far out than usual, even if some of his models in prosthetic alien makeup seemed to have just stepped off of flying saucers.

The Los Angeles creator's big new things this time were grey shearling and silver fake fur bomber jackets that seemed to be sprouting wings, with some models wearing leather bodies whose studded crotches could be let down to look like little tails from behind.

It that wasn't a big enough statement for you, there was always his new platform boots with toe grills almost big enough to grace the front of a Chevrolet.

Virgil Abloh continued his path to the top of Paris fashion with his least sportswear show yet for his own Off-White label that featured a trio of top supermodels, the Hadid sisters Bella and Gigi and Karlie Kloss, the world's second highest paid clothes horse after Kendall Jenner.

Source: France 24