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Chanel

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GRAND GESTURE

Paris: Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t do small, and this season’s Chanel show explored the grandiosity one has come to expect from the designer. The venue – the Grand Palais, which has been used for most of Chanel’s recent shows – is in itself a spectacle of Beaux-Arts architecture, but Lagerfeld brought in an 80-piece orchestra to add to the over-the-top ambience. Models traipsed through what looked like a formal garden made from black stone, inspired by the 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad for which Coco Chanel designed the costumes. Though the venue, music and set may have had a classical feel, Lagerfeld presented plenty of new ideas in this epic show. The first series of tweed pieces had a moth-eaten look, perhaps suggest the heirloom quality of vintage Chanel pieces passed down to younger generations. The uneven holes turned into small rips on jeans and precise laser cutouts, adding a futuristic touch. Although the designer delivered several versions of the obligatory classic tweed suit, he also included racier versions with the shortest of short-shorts. The striking short length was balanced with mid-calf hemlines for skirts and dresses, the most appealing one in chiffon with a painterly floral print. With layers of lace, feathered fringe, jewels and sequins, Lagerfeld closed the show in a crescendo of glamour, worthy of the magnificent surroundings and the legendary label.

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