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COUTURE: Kim Kardashian hits Paris, as Karl Lagerfeld speaks out against French president

Models present creations as part of the Giorgio Armani Prive Spring-Summer 2014 Haute Couture fashion collection, presented Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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Models present creations as part of the Giorgio Armani Prive Spring-Summer 2014 Haute Couture fashion collection, presented Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS - Fashion has its fair share of personalities as seen in Tuesday's high-octane Paris haute couture shows.

Kim Kardashian nearly caused cars to crash when she arrived late to one show, while Chanel's front man Karl Lagerfeld proved that he doesn't just design couture dreams, he also speaks politics.

Here are some key moments:

KIM KARDASHIAN ATTENDS SHOW, CAUSES HAVOC

She's been around Paris in recent days, snapped with her partner rapper Kanye West at Versailles Palace, once the seat of French monarchy. Now Kim Kardashian has hit Paris couture week, holding court herself in the front row of the Stephane Rolland show.

The reality star wore a flowing ivory cashmere couture coat and satin pearl-grey pants by the French designer and sported blond highlights.

Although she arrived without West, who was seen last week at Givenchy, and refused to speak to the press, her arrival triggered a media storm, with photographers pushing each other and shouting angrily to get a clear shot.

CHANEL'S COUTURE SPORTS CLUB

It was not your run-of-the-mill Paris sports club. It was Chanel haute couture.

At Karl Lagerfeld's dazzling "Cambon Club" show, he boldly mixed the couture designs associated with Coco Chanel's fashion empire at 31 rue Cambon, with a youthful sporty kick.

Pearly chiffon, satin silk, fastidious embroideries, sequins and sculpted corsets met with — gasp — sneakers, sporty white cropped boleros, fanny packs and silver knee pads. Models even ran down the steps that led onto a bright crystalline stage, sometimes skipping.

If the spring-summer show felt less vibrant than recent colorful Chanel displays, it was down to the more muted pearly and silver palette. But the detail of the clothes certainly packed a punch.

Tight corsets masterfully sculpted the midriff, which was also accented by wide truncated boleros.

Lagerfeld said he wanted the sneakers to "bring couture back to reality." And in that he succeeded with panache.

LAGERFELD: HOLLANDE "CRUEL" FOR ALLEGED AFFAIR

Pithy-tongued Lagerfeld often likes to pontificate on politics. On Tuesday he called French President Francois Hollande "cruel and heartless" over the allegations by a French magazine that Hollande had an affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

Hollande's live-in partner and first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, was hospitalized for several days after the revelations due to stress.

"When we talk about violence against women, the way (Trierweiler) was treated I am very much against," Lagerfeld told The Associated Press. "You cannot do that to a woman you've spent so many years with. This I think is cruel and heartless."

Trierweiler, who attended Chanel's last haute couture show in July, did not appear at Tuesday's show.

Still, Lagerfeld said he liked Gayet, calling her "a nice person" with "a nice face."

GIORGIO ARMANI'S SOOTHING COUTURE

Iconic Italian actress Claudia Cardinale was among the old faithful at the Giorgio Armani Prive couture show.

The exhaustive 54-look-strong collection had a vintage feel with head silk wraps that sometimes glistened with embroidered jewels. They endowed the slow walking models with a nostalgic, Hollywood glamour.

But Armani, who has been going ethnic of late, chose to go East this spring-summer with the rest of his collection.

Flat Asian necklines defined silken jackets, as twisted Thai-style check belts and scarves and long pleated pants filed by. While deep indigos colours glistened in the — signature — thick sumptuous jacquards.

The show was set to soothing, jazz music. The slow pace got the better of two older gentlemen on the front row who slept through the entire show.

STEPHANE ROLLAND IN SEARCH OF SUNSHINE

Rolland's spring-summer couture show went in search of sunshine.

The designer, whose signature style venerates the natural beauty of fabrics like fine silk gazars and organzas, channeled vivid cadmium and canary yellows in his show, set off by a dash of white and black.

But what defined this particular Rolland show was that it moved in a delicate direction, uncluttering the silhouette by doing away with the aggressive spiked appliques of previous seasons.

Sweeps of silk flowed away from the body, providing a beautiful architectural look. And the final bridal gown had a great, organic fabric flourish in the back that really it made it feel like couture week.

BOUCHRA JARRAR GOES FOR ASYMMETRY, TEXTURE

Moroccan-born designer Bouchra Jarrar played with asymmetry and texture with varying success.

One cross grain-woven coat had appealing thick asymmetrical lapels that flapped in front. But metallic pants were an odd choice to pair with looks that featured several textures and styles, like one black, sleeveless fur coat with big red lines on the side.

Still, the show featured some luxurious items like a long, plunging silk gown in royal blue.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at https://twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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