Known for his extravagant runway settings, designer Karl Lagerfeld led fashionistas into a serene garden on 26 January, celebrating all things nature at the Chanel haute couture catwalk show in Paris. Models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner were among those that presented the immense 73 looks that took to the catwalk.
Having previously turned the Grand Palais into an airport, supermarket and brasserie, the veteran designer, who has been at the creative helm of Chanel since 1983, sent models out of a wooden house down a garden path amid a neat green lawn. In an age of technology, models, whose hair was swept back into lunar-like chignons, wore belt pouches big enough to hold smartphones or tablets.
"You know it's an influence of everything it's not like I said 'now let's do Japanese'. There were no kimonos. It's a kind of relax zen attitude in a modern spirit of today," said Designer Karl Lagerfeld about his asian inspiration.
Lagerfeld said the starting point for the line was "the silhouette" and he puffed up sleeves into oval shapes on Chanel's signature tweed jackets, pairing them with slim pencil skirts. Evening wear consisted of embroidered strapless satin dresses and top and trouser combinations, worn with sparkling sheer capes.
Model Kendall Jenner appeared on the catwalk wearing a plunging black dress. Lagerfeld's nature theme was evident in the embroidery on dresses, including colourful flowers and wooden birds as well as in the shoes: rounded cork wedges.
Models arrived on the catwalk coming out of a big wooden house, which Lagerfeld said he would have loved to build for himself: "It was my dream to have a house like this but you don't get a permission in France to build a house like this. Everything is in wood and things like this and I think it all match well," he said.
The colour palette offered various shades of beige, ivory and gold but there were also dabs of black and dark blue as well as multi-coloured dresses. "And all those beige dresses I saw on TV backstage look very well, you must not forget that in the twenties, before she made the little black dress, [Coco] Chanel was called the queen of the beige. And I never made a Chanel collection nearly all beige and I am doing that for 33 years," Lagerfeld added.
Lagerfeld dressed his Chanel bride, a regular feature at his haute couture shows, in a strapless dress embroidered with chiffon, beads, rhinestones, leather and wood shavings, worn with a hooded jacket with a train. The show ended with the panels of the wooden house opening up to reveal the models, which included Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, posing on the structure's three floors.