From both Paris and Rome this year's crop of high fashion autumn and winter collections have shown a marked tendency towards ethnic influences on a global scale.
SV model showing ???-style outfit with bare midriff and cape draped over baggy trousers.
SV Madame Catherine Bokassa (centre with Afro hairstyle) seated in audience.
SV model showing voluminous taffeta evening cape with tiered top in lime green.
SV model wearing Spanish-style evening ensemble with full length white skirt, red top and with black lace mantilla and pom-pom headress.
CU Madame Bokassa watching.
SV one model wearing full length quilted cape over plain black evening dress and another wearing quilted green 3/4 coat with hood over multi-coloured tiered evening dress.
SV model wearing Indian-influenced evening outfit in transparent shiny printed fabric and another wearing evening dress in shiny fabric, tiered and with blouson top.
SV & CU Madame Bokassa leaves and enters car. (2 shots)
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Background: From both Paris and Rome this year's crop of high fashion autumn and winter collections have shown a marked tendency towards ethnic influences on a global scale. There can't be many traditional styles of dressing left that have escaped the sharp eyes of the fashion designers. Jules-Francois Crahay at Lanvin is no exception -- in fact he takes the theme to some extravagant extremes.
SYNOPSIS: This harem-style outfit is a typical example. An interpretation of the Arabian Nights for modern women with good figures.
Watching the show at Lanvin on Tuesday (26 July) was the lady soon to become Empress of the Central African Empire. She's Madame Catherine Bokassa, wife of Saleh ???-Din Bokassa who will be crowned Emperor in December. Crahay's clothes are certainly sumptuous enough for a coronation -- voluminous taffeta capes and majestic evening ensembles inspired by 18th century Spain.
Madame Bokassa also saw Crahay's interpretations of Asian high-mountain ??? adapted to European taste. Hardly the thing to take back to Africa, but for wealthy ladies in cold climates quilted capes and hooded quilted coats look like a good alternative to furs for winter evening out. Crahay's colours for evening include "flamboyant red", pink and jade green.
These Indian-inspired evening dresses have also taken on a European look -- mostly with subtle adaptation of line, but also with the use of exquisite multi-coloured printed lame fabric -- so fine they are almost but not quite transparent, with the overall effect changing according to movement and light.
Shopping for her coronation, Madame Bokassa was just one of many rich and famous customers who gather in Paris for the haute ??? collections twice every year.