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Chanel Showcases in Derelict Theatre


German fashion designer, artists and photographer Karl Lagerfeld conjured up a phantasmagorical ruined theatre for the Fall 2013 couture collection, concealed within the Grand Palais. Completely authentic with debris, the intense edifice created a real immersion for the attendees, which included Rihanna, Kristen Stewart, who sat on vintage wooden chairs in front of the stage adorned with tiny brass plates bearing the guest’s numbers. Ushers were walking along the aisles with wicker baskets containing programmes for the show – the audience were living the artistic creation.


Photo: AP Photo / Francois Mori

As the dust – literally – settled, the curtain of the regal proscenium arch stage went up, blasting the audience out of the historic dream-like state with a eruption of modern electronic music and behind the models was a dazzling cityscape of landmarks from London, Shanghai and Dubai merged together. The room was filled with sunlight streaming through where the ceiling of the scorched theatre would have been but instead had been blow off revealing the glass dome of the Grand Palais. This, accompanied with the coruscant created an effect which made the models appear to be walking versions of the cityscape backdrop.

The immense collection itself distinctly echoed the post-apocalyptic elegance created by Lagerfeld: the thickly browed models with chiseled cheeks displayed monochromic classic Chanel tweeds injected with a futuristic, edgy urban feel with armour detailing. A clear theme of layering was also observed ; varying jackets were almost always worn over a flared low waisted short skirt with longer suede narrower underskirts accompanied by thigh-high legwear which Lagerfeld branded “stocking shoes,” supported by garters. The constant accessory: a wide low belt that brought attention to the hips.

Karl Lagerfeld accomplished something tremendous and after the whirl of texture and extravagant garments stated that “Chanel is an idea, not a reality”.

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