Lagerfeld pays tribute to atelier seamstresses at Chanel show
PARIS (Reuters) – Chanel took fashionistas behind the scenes into its ateliers for its autumn/winter haute couture show on Tuesday, focusing on the intricate craftsmanship displayed on its luxurious outfits and shining the spotlight on its artisan workers. Creative head Karl Lagerfeld, known for putting on elaborate shows for one of the world’s most famous labels, transformed Paris’ Grand Palais into a Chanel workshop with rolls of fabric, mannequins, sewing machines, cutting tables and seamstresses at work in front of an audience including Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jessica Chastain.
The 82-year-old designer dedicated the fashion show to the label’s normally unheralded “petites mains” (small hands), even posing with the heads of the ateliers at the end. Models wore plenty of the brand’s signature tweed — starting with jackets with angular shoulders and elbow-length sleeves paired with culotte trousers and, later coat dresses. Intricate floral embroidery or shiny beading decorated some of the clothes, which were all worn with black boots. For Chanel’s evening looks, Lagerfeld decorated shoulders and hems on an array of dresses in luxurious materials. Underlining the work of Chanel’s “petites mains”, sparkling embellishments, feathers, embroidered lace, pleating and draping were among some of their craftsmanship on display on dresses. The German designer used a variety of colors throughout the collection — from autumnal brown, orange, blue and gray to lighter beige and pink as well as black and white. Lagerfeld, who previously has recreated an airport, supermarket as well as brasserie for catwalk presentations, closed the show with the Chanel bride, this time wearing a sequined pale pink jacket and trousers with a train embroidered with feathers. Other designer houses unveiling their haute couture collections this week include Giorgio Armani Prive and Valentino. (Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Keith Weir)