Crystal clear in plastic at Chanel
Just when you thought the house of Chanel might run out of ideas on how to stage its massive runway shows, then Karl Lagerfeld shocks his audience with the latest stunning set and a pretty remarkable collection too.
Inspired by the Gorges du Verdon, the towering river chasm in the South of France, Lagerfeld and Chanel constructed a towering series of waterfalls inside the Grand Palais. From 30 metres high, the water roared down into a river, along whose banks his cast marched on a raised wooden boards walk and into a wild forest. Cecil B. DeMille could not have asked for better.
However, the designer juxtaposed raw nature with a collection whose key material was clear plastic. Supple, high-tech and sexy, plastic came as mini capes; trench coats, knee high boots; gauntlets; park ranger hats, elongated bracelets and “raincoats” for many bags.
“If you knew the price we charge for some of these bags, you can see why they need protection!” quipped Lagerfeld in his private salon backstage.
Underneath all the plastic were some highly chic clothes – from pink and blue check cocktail dresses and remarkable washed out plaid bouclé bra tops and wildly fringed jackets; to sleeveless dresses cut with space age shoulders and hyper high collars or mega tartan mohair coats cinched at the waist with crystal crusted belts. All anchored by the see-through plastic boots, with classic Chanel contrasting color black toes and the double C logo on the heel.
“Why plastic? I don’t ask questions. If I were pretentious I would say I just try to give the answers. I dream up the ideas, and you write about them. I do not like to explain and philosophize about fashion. I have not seen the show, you have. I am not Spinoza,” quipped the designer to one editor, referring to the Dutch philosopher.
The plastic – which was wrapped around the invitation and the lavish program – and all other materials were custom-made for Chanel, adding to the uniqueness of the mood.
“Plastic is a beautiful material. It is something that did not exist 40 years ago, and the quality is very good. After all it is better than old boring French fabrics,” said Lagerfeld, after sending out some frosted white bouclé coats and snow princess dresses trimmed in plastic.
The designer revealed that he changed his invitation one week ago, waking up after a dream and sketching the image of a modern day Chanel gal, with big droplet earrings and a cloche hat.
“The best ideas come to me in my dreams. I must be a sleepwalker,” nodded the German couturier backstage, beneath a massive scaffolding holding up the amazing waterfall.
“There is no life in the world without water, so to me a waterfall is very, very, very healthy,” added Lagerfeld. Even the gods seemed to shine on this show, as halfway through the action a rainbow suddenly appeared in the sky above the Grand Palais.
Turning to politics, Lagerfeld revealed that his latest cartoon for his regular page in the color supplement of leading German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, would be a comment on Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I was so furious for Mrs. Merkel, indirectly, for bringing the Nazis back. So, I made the meanest sketch. If she had not said I shall take one million refugees she would have not lost so many votes. Before there were no Nazis in our parliament, now there are nearly 90. Thank you very much!” snorted the designer.
“The French who invented human rights took in 30,000 people, but she [Merkel)] took in one million… But as she had a very bad image on the Greek issue she wanted an angelic one with this problem,” said Lagerfeld, referring to the election of deputies into the extreme right wing party AfD winning 13% of the popular vote in elections last week, as he showed off the sketch which will be published later this month.
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