PARIS (AFP) - "Make Fashion not War!" "Feminism not Masochism!"
Star models Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner and Gisele Bundchen livened up Paris fashion on Tuesday with a very stylish 'street protest' on the Chanel catwalk.
For his spring/summer 2015 show held inside the vast, domed Grand Palais, designer Karl Lagerfeld sent a cast of models waving placards and loudspeakers onto a life-sized Parisian street set - complete with puddles, cracked tarmac and apartment facades bedecked with window boxes.
Models sauntered along the street in ones and twos, as if on their way to work, before re-appearing in protest mode along with Lagerfeld at the end.
Australian director Baz Luhrmann, French-American actress Julie Delpy and United States Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour were among the front-row guests at the show on the penultimate day of the Paris ready-to-wear collections.
The models' slogans blurred classic feminist and fashionista lines, urging people to "Be Your Own Stylist" and "Free Freedom".
Speaking afterwards, Lagerfeld said the show had been inspired by the many challenges women still faced today and explained that he feared the cause of equality was currently moving backward not forward.
"I thought it was the moment to insist a little bit again. Especially in France, you feel it. The atmosphere is not good," he said.
He also took a swipe at political correctness, saying there was now a disturbing gap between rhetoric and reality on the equality front.
"Today everything is forbidden, the politically correct killed everything. (Before) there was an air of freedom... life was in a way very simple and it was not about money," he said. "(People) became much more bourgeois. They want to look politically correct in their behaviour... (but) they are certainly not."
His collections - for which he always builds sets on an almost epic scale inside the Grand Palais - are always among the highlights of any Paris fashion week.
Previous shows have seen him construct full-size supermarkets, theatres and art galleries inside the Paris landmark.
Outfits in bright, almost psychedelic colours, dominated Tuesday's collection.
Looks included wide-legged, blue and purple tweed trousers teamed with a coat in a bold floral print but lined with the same tweed.
Elsewhere there were metallic and blue-and-white-striped dresses plus pin-striped navy shorts worn with white blouses with oversized, layered collars.
Particularly classic looks included white and lilac minidresses with navy trim and trouser suits in mottled blue tweed.
Footwear, meanwhile, was flat and practical including brightly-printed boots and strappy gold sandals.
Lagerfeld said Chanel's trademark tweedy fabric, always used throughout collections, made use of the very latest technology and was a mix of "very modern... and very classic material".
He described the collection as about pieces that could be mixed and matched and urged women to be creative.
"It is not a line where you have to wear the total line, (it is about) playing with elements. It is less 'mode' (fashion) than 'mode de vie' (way of life)," he said.
"It is not like someone tells you that you have to wear (this or) that, you don't have to... Do it yourself. Dress yourself," he added.
Lagerfeld's show was among the last of over 90 ready-to-wear collections for spring/summer 2015 being shown in Paris. Nine days of shows will wrap up in the city on Wednesday.