Chiffon from Versace and high fur from Fendi at Paris Haute Couture

Models present creations from the Fall/Winter 2015/2016 Haute Couture collection of Belgian designer Raf Simons for Dior during Paris Fashion Week.
Models present creations from the Fall/Winter 2015/2016 Haute Couture collection of Belgian designer Raf Simons for Dior during Paris Fashion Week.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (Reuters) - Floaty floor-length gowns, intricate detailing and "haute fourrure", or "high fur", mark this week's Paris Haute Couture shows, where some of fashion's best known names present some of the world's most expensive clothes.

On Monday, Christian Dior models strutted in flowing white dresses, tight-waisted coats with ankle-length puffy skirts and oversized capes in a specially built structure at the Musee Rodin.

Taking inspiration from Flemish painters, Dior designer Raf Simons paired colourful coats with wide trousers and topped short and long dresses with tank tops. He contrasted white, pale blues and pinks with patterned designs as well as sharp reds, blues and greens. "He is so artistic and I love the modernity he brings, (the) elegance and femininity," actress Emily Blunt said at the show.

On Sunday, celebrity-favourite Versace had been among the first to showcase its designs at the five-day autumn-winter 2015/16 fashion week, presenting chiffon dresses worn with floral crowns on a glass catwalk filled with orchids.

Using a palette of soft pink, lilac and pale grey as well as flashes of orange, turquoise and black, designer Donatella Versace decorated her evening gowns with floral motifs, layered ruffles and sparkly embellishments.

Paris' haute couture week runs until Thursday, with about 30 designer houses presenting their collections, including Fendi, which will make its couture debut on Wednesday.

Creative director Karl Lagerfeld, who also designs for Chanel, is said to be presenting a high fur or "haute fourrure"collection as he marks 50 years at the luxury label, drawing criticism from animal rights activists.

He will also present an haute couture line for Chanel.