Photo: Loic Venance / AFP
An unexpected finale to the Chanel Haute Couture presentation made for a powerful statement in favor of same-sex marriage. Two women in wedding gowns, one of them holding a little boy's hand, walked down a tree-lined path similing defiantly at the climax of a stunning collection inspired by German romanticism.
Featuring two brides instead of one, the striking image was Karl Lagerfeld's way to express his support for same-sex union at a moment when the bill to extend marriage to French gay and lesbian couples faces unprecedented uproar.
Speaking to the press after the show, Lagerfeld dismissed the same-sex marriage wrangle. "I don't even understand the debate," he said. "Since 1904 the church and state have been separate... Why can't two people who live together have the same security as married bourgeois?"
The designer's stance on adoption, however, was more ambivalent.
Not one to keep his tongue tied, Lagerfeld said that he was "less keen" on male couple raising a child together or, in his own words, "ordering children from a lady," adding that men should only adopt children who don't have parents. "Two mothers seem to me better than two fathers", he told the journalists. "A child without a mother, it's a bit sad."
Lagerfeld had voiced his disappoval of same-sex marriage in the past in an interview with Bruce LaBruce for Vice magazine. Back in 2010, the designer told Vice "I’m against it for a very simple reason. In the '60s they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life." He also made a similar distinction between female couples and male couples raising children.
Chanel's brides come out a week after Elle magazine audaciously put two women on its cover with the headline "Marriage For All." Is Lagerfeld offering his genuine support to the LGBT community, or is this a skillful publicity stunt? The floor is open for discussion.