German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld on Tuesday used the finale of his Chanel haute couture show in Paris to signal his support for gay marriage.
Closing his spring 2013 show, two female models in long white gowns and trains swept into an amphitheatre in Paris's vast Grand Palais accompanied by Lagerfeld's four-year-old godson Hudson Kroening.
Speaking backstage after the show, Lagerfeld confirmed that it was intended as a show of support for gay marriage, although he said that he was "less supportive" of what he called gay men "ordering babies".
"I am not so crazy about that," he told reporters, adding that he urged men to adopt instead.
"Two mothers seems to me to be better than two fathers. A child without a mother, that's a bit sad," he said.
And Lagerfeld said he had been "horribly shocked" by recent comments by Pierre Berge, the gay rights activist and former companion of the late Yves Saint Laurent, in which he said he did not see any difference between paying a woman for the use of her womb to bear a child and paying someone to use their arms to work in a factory.
Turning his attention to the clothes, which were warmly applauded by a crowd including New York rapper Theophilus London, Lagerfeld said he had focused on designs that "framed the shoulder".
"I like the idea of the beauty of the shoulder," he said, adding that it created a "becoming" look.
Standing out were long and short black dresses covered in intricately sewn floral embellishments and a demure off-the-shoulder black-and-white lace dress worn with toeless white lace stockings.
French designer Stephane Rolland, meanwhile, "reincarnated" two style staples in a show attended by US reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
Carmen Dell'Orefice (81) models for Stephane Rolland
"The tuxedo dress is Rolland's totally original take on the coat-dress. His is all in one, whereby the jacket emerges from the sides of the hips," the house said.
And the cape - a regular feature of previous collections - took a new direction with a back-to-front version exposing the back.
Elsewhere, Brazilian Gustavo Lins also went for off the shoulder evening dresses, some worn with transparent silk leggings and removable leather sleeves or long gloves.
The house said the collection developed elements from previous years including his evening kimonos and draped dresses.
In addition, the collection included the house's first wedding dress complete with tulle veil and embroidered gloves.
A "fireball" print used in the collection was designed by Lins himself, taking the theme of "an imaginary Arctic night traversed by balls of fire".
Earlier, asked about news that disgraced British designer John Galliano had been thrown a lifeline by fellow designer Oscar de la Renta, Lagerfeld added that he hoped "something positive comes out of it for him".
Considered a fashion genius, Galliano was sacked by Christian Dior and convicted last year in France of anti-Semitism after a video emerged of him hurling insults at people in a Paris bar.
"He made a mistake, but you cannot pay forever," Lagerfeld said.
De la Renta has reportedly invited Galliano to work with him for three weeks in his New York studio "to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative".
Catering to no more than 200 of the world's richest women, the label "haute couture" is protected in France, awarded based on strict criteria such as the amount of work carried out by hand and in-house.
Four days of spring-summer 2013 haute couture shows are due to wrap up on Thursday.