Wednesday 5 July 2017

Interview with Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel Haute Couture in Paris

Creative director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, talks about why Paris is best known for high fashion and how the Eiffel Tower is the monument that best symbolises his new Autumn Winter 2017/18 haute couture show. Beneath the soaring glass dome of the Grand Palais, Chanel created a 38-meter high version of the tower, with wooden garden chairs set out beneath like a Parisian park, a runway designed to invite a leisurely stroll and a rediscovery of the city, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento 

Chanel's Eiffel Tower disappears among
the clouds. Photo: Olivier Saillant
DESIGNED by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest edifice built by man and symbolised the industrial era. It inspired many artists including the painter Robert Delaunay who visualised it with Neo-Impressionist and Cubist lines. Today, Karl Lagerfeld pays tribute to Paris with a scene for his latest haute couture show designed to be like a beautiful autumn day.

"It’s a vision of a revived Parisian woman, it is all about cut, shapes, silhouettes. Here the line is very delineated and graphic, it’s very modern," explains Karl Lagerfeld. His Parisiennes step out in hats, wearing booties or thigh boots buttoned up high. This season the tweed jacket comes as a long tunic, or is cropped and double breasted; its sleeves are cambered or dressed with fingerless gloves and bouquets of feathers.

 "In this collection, there are feathers treated like fur," says the designer. The designs are worn with domed or wraparound skirts, tubular dresses or wide-cut jumpsuits. The silhouette is graphic, supported by tweeds, mohair, and grey, black and white wools, autumnal palettes in navy blue, burgundy and green. The collection has long, straight volumes that flare into A-lines or contrast with rounded on voluminous coats, peplum jackets and frock coats with cinched waists.

At the end of the second runway show, Karl Lagerfeld was awarded the Grand Vermeil de la Ville de Paris medal by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris. This medal, that represents the highest distinction in the City of Paris, recognises his creativity and his impact creating Parisian fashion that has influenced design around the world.

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