PARIS - Karl Lagerfeld's show for Chanel under the soaring glass canopy of the unheated Grand Palais on a chilly Tuesday in Paris majored on bare midriffs, a floral dreamscape and eye-popping shades of electric blue, tangerine and canary yellow.
Life-sized grey paper buds opened to reveal exotic multi-coloured blooms, and clusters of oversized hand-stitched flowers hanging heavily from hems of coats, exploding from shoulders or swinging from full skirts cut below the knee.
Thousands of pale pink sequins adorned a slinky skirt and matching bolero length short-sleeved jacket, their weight slowing the gait of the model.
"The new cleavage is the stomach," Lagerfeld said of his 73-piece Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
Oversized bouquets of flowers - whether in eclectic combinations of blue, crimson and pink, or tangerine and red - sprung from the shoulders of dresses in periwinkle silk, or red and orange.
More subtle shades of dusty pink, grey and ivory also made their appearance in delicate petals, imparting lady-like chic to long tunics and coats.
"Especially after this dark, horrid beginning of the year, there was something like this needed, I think," Chanel's creative director said, noting that his ideas were conceived well before 17 people were killed in violence that began on Jan. 7 at the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
"I live in a very protected world so I can keep something like a dream reality," Lagerfeld conceded.
It took six months to create the hundreds of flowers used in the collection, the German designer said, including those sewn onto sheer black gloves, or the crimson and dark violet floral band resembling a shrug sitting atop a nubby red dress.