Chanel Spring/Summer 2019 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Paris (dpa) - German fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld caused confusion and concern on Tuesday after he missed Chanel's haute couture shows during Paris Fashion Week.

As artistic director of the French fashion house Chanel, Lagerfeld usually appears to take a final bow after the models have left the runway.

But on Tuesday it was Lagerfeld's long-time right hand, Chanel creative studio director Virginie Viard, who greeted the audiences.

Virginie Viard greeted the audiences at the Chanel show in Paris. (Instagram)

Chanel said later Lagerfeld had skipped out because he was tired, however his absence has fueled speculation about the health of the 85-year-old, who was born in 1933 in Hamburg.

Patricia Riekel, former editor-in-chief of German lifestyle magazine Bunte, called his absence "a shame."

"Everyone who comes to the shows wants to honour Karl Lagerfeld. Anyone leaving will now ask: What happened? Why didn't he show himself?" Riekel, who is considered a confidant of Lagerfeld, told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Known for his trademark dark sunglasses, stiff white collars and black gloves, Lagerfeld is one of the world's most famous fashion designers.

He is the creative director at fashion houses Chanel and Fendi, and also runs an eponymous label.