The colours on Christian Lacroix’s catwalk matched the dark prospects for his fashion house. There was a lot of black on the haute couture models in Paris. And the southern French designer, whose label has been wracked with financial trouble for much of its 22 year existence, has said he will probably have to shut up shop at the end of the month.So a prestigious embroidery house worked for nothing, painstakingly applying the rhinestones they are known for. A high-end shoe brand donated the models’ towering heels. The make-up artists and hairdressers also gave their services free. Only the show’s 12 models were paid. Lacroix said: ‘‘I can’t think it’s the end. It’s the beginning of something I think because I can’t imagine that in Paris a couture house might close. We felt such a support was generous and without support and help nothing would be possible today.” Karl Lagerfeld served up Chanel’s haute couture collection fit for royalty, with dangling trains that added a regal touch to everything from classic tweed suits to slim cocktail dresses. And there was no lack of self-confidence from the Hamburg-born designer as he spoke about his creations. Lagerfeld said: “I’m sketching art. I’m an artist, so it’s a graphic effect I found on paper or I see in my sleep in the morning, but I don’t analyse it to make a good speech about.” The trains also added a dose of evening glamour to above-the-knee dresses in rich tones reminiscent of precious jewels.