Ruined theatre for Chanel haute couture show Paris – Karl Lagerfeld showed his vision for Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2013/2014 this past week. The Grand Palais was transformed into a derelict theater; run down, damaged. But the background was a sight of a futuristic metropolis.
Models walking across the stage and into the audience seated in old wooden theater chairs showed off a glittery collection that played with proportions. Marked by doubled short skirts and wide low-slung belts, Lagerfeld also added long columned dresses in greys, silvers and blacks and a high dose of gunmetal blue.
The luxurious and sparkling tweeds and embroidered fabrics for Autumn/Winter 2013-2014 provided a theatrical contrast to the set, which elicited gasps from the audience of fashion regulars.
The abandoned, derelict theater created by Lagerfeld—known for his extravagant sets built under the soaring iron and glass atrium of the sumptuous Grand Palais—was complete with peeling paint, overturned benches and blocks of collapsed concrete, imparting a decaying beauty to the high-fashion catwalk.
“It’s the contrast between the old world and the new,” Lagerfeld told reporters after the show. “Fashion is the only thing that can travel between both.” So the curtains opened to reveal a backdrop of a futuristic skyline, city landmarks from London, Dubai and Shanghai merging together. The tall, column silhouettes came in skyscraper shades of steel and iron, belts dropped to hip height to create a long straight line. The effect – especially when the sun caught the rows of tiny sequins, fracturing the light in the way that sunlight catches on glass – was that the models looked like walking versions of the buildings on the theatrical backdrop.