Paris couture shows reflect uncertain times

While many designers tapped into today's times of uncertainty with armor-like clothing fit for an urban warrior, Jean Paul Gaultier escaped to a fantasy world peopled with princesses, witches and animals in his haute couture show on Friday.

It was a fitting finale to the fight-or-flight battle that played out in Paris this season, as designers responded to the world's climate of unease in two ways: tough battle-ready outfits versus a starry-eyed status quo.

Models breezed past in layers of feather-light mousseline or sweeping fur coats with raised collars. Dramatic details included chandelier crystal embroidery on a nude chiffon corset and a rooster's head crowing from the feathered sleeve of a black coat.

"You must not look into my eyes," intoned the soundtrack from French director Jean Cocteau's classic "Beauty and the Beast."

Perhaps Gaultier was inspired by front row guest Catherine Deneuve, who played a princess in the 1970 film adaptation of the French fable "Peau d'Ane" ("Donkey Skin").

"I think it's marvelous," the actress told The Associated Press after the show. "They are perfectly wearable clothes but clothes that make you dream, nonetheless."

While thoroughly accomplished, the collection lacked the wild bravado of Gaultier at his risk-taking best. Then again, precious few designers have ventured from the trodden path this season.

Lebanese designers Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab both played it safe with glamorous collections focused on evening wear, which proved that Beirut has become a major player in the couture field, reports AP.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team