Birds sing as Kenzo turns catwalk into rainforest

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PARIS, Oct 6 (Reuters) Birds squawked and chirped as Kenzo designer Antonio Marras turned his catwalk into an Amazonian rain forest today, sending out models in shimmering dresses featuring all the colours of the rainbow.

Marras is one of several designers in Paris who like to present their collections in extravagant settings.

Yesterday, British designer Alexander McQueen let models emerge underneath the legs of a large spider and at Chanel, the girls paraded out on a star-covered catwalk that was dominated by a giant version of the fashion house's signature bow.

Kenzo's Marras sent his models out in voluminous, A-line dresses, as parrots spread their wings on videoscreens hanging inside a curtain of fake greenery and flowers on the catwalk.

Birdsong was played over loudspeakers.

''Amazonia (is) a world of nature, dreams, colours and enchantment ... No place in the world could be more fascinating,'' Marras said.

''This collection plays on (the) opposition between the magnificence of this nature and the essential simplicity of the life led by the Indians. It's the source of vibrant, sunny, violent and intense colours,'' he said.

Marras's models presented bright yellow skirts with large sequined flowers. One girl wore a shiny red dress with rainbow-coloured feathers around the collar, while another model presented a slim purple trench coat with wide yellow sleeves.

TRIBUTE TO ISABELLA BLOW Vivid colours also dominated the runway at McQueen's presentation of his spring and summer collection late on Friday, a show he dedicated to Isabella Blow, the flamboyant British fashion icon who is credited with launching his career.

Blow, one of the industry's great eccentrics, died at the age of 48 in May. She had been renowned for helping, discovering and nurturing several designers such as McQueen, including Philip Treacy, one the world's most famous milliners.

McQueen's models walked out into a Paris concert hall filled with Blow's favourite scent Fracas, wearing extravagant Treacy hats in a tribute to Blow's signature elaborate headgear.

One model presenting a grey dress with a bright red belt wore a hat made up of dozens of red butterflies, covering half of her face. Two girls walked out together in shiny pink and black dresses.

High-waisted petticoat skirts were followed by a long black dress with colourful feathers attached to the back.

McQueen, born in 1969, worked for theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans before studying fashion design in London.

Blow famously bought up his entire graduate collection.


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