All about Chanel
PARIS (AP):They were styles literally made to be worn on the street. But not just any street: this was Chanel's Boulevard.
Karl Lagerfeld did it again on Tuesday, September 29, producing the most outlandish ready-to-wear show of the season by reconstructing an entire Parisian neighbourhood inside the Grand Palais, attended by stars, including Baz Luhrmann.
But Monsieur Lagerfeld is also a political activist, and waged a street protest with Gisele Bundchen against the rise of the French far right.
Not bad for a mere 10-minute show.
Guests gawped as they entered the set: a boulevard with pedestrian crossing surrounded by towering 19th century trompe l'oeil apartments. There were 3-D verandas, and even real puddles that shimmered in the dazzling camera flashes.
One fashion insider said the only thing missing from the Parisian realism in this Chanel show was some pedigree dog waste on the sidewalk.
But this is Chanel, darling, and instead there were perfume bottles on the seats.
There were also some clothes.
The spring-summer look was all about colour, and mixing up masculine and feminine codes.
A double-breasted tweed jacket opened the 88-look show, with a multicoloured tie and dappled blue tweed.
Truncated bolero jackets, shawls, long 19th-century dandy coats and oversize knee-high boots came in multicolour, as if stroked by a painter's brush.
"The artist is myself, without wanting to be pretentious," said Lagerfeld.
There was also some enviable silver looks, with scale-like texture, like on a column or shoulder-less dress with black tulle.
There were perhaps too many styles, and with the myriad colours, the focus seemed at times blurred.
Still, a striped section was great, showcased to "oohs" and "ayahs" by user model Gisele Bündchen in beige sock shoes.
It's not the first time outspoken Lagerfeld has delved into politics. During heated gay marriage debates last year in France, he showcased a lesbian couture wedding.
This time, all the models, including it-girl Cara Delevigne, filed out as a group in a mock feminist protest against the French far right.
Gisele shouted on a loudspeaker and marched next to placards reading messages such as "Free Freedom".
Lagerfeld said he thought liberty was increasingly in jeopardy in France with the rise of Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage party.
"I thought it was a moment to insist a little again, especially in France. (It's going) backward ... Especially with the party called the Front National," Lagerfeld told the AP.
"Chanel has a kind of power. People look at it. I think that's a good thing," he added.