When it comes to putting on runway shows for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld regularly looks to – and reproduces – far-flung locations for inspiration, as building replicas of Parisian landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or a garden park inside the Grand Palais.
For Fall/Winter 2018 Haute Couture collection, Karl recreated a stretch of stone wall and sidewalk along the Quai de Conti, the imposing dome of the Institut de France, built by Louis le Vau for Cardinal Mazarin in the 1660s, in the distance. In the foreground: three kiosks, les bouquinistes featuring myriad Chanel titles.
‘’It is very Paris, it is very French’’, Karl Lagerfeld said about the collection during a preview. ‘’But you know, French couture is about promoting Paris. It is part of my job’’.
The collection’s tweeds, failles, and chiffons evoked the nuances of the city’s greige stone facades beneath smoldering gray skies, lit by astonishing embroideries that sparkled like the lights of the bateaux mouches on the Seine, and showcased the nonpareil workmanship of the great fashion fournisseurs that Chanel has acquired to ensure its flourishing survival. Everything from chic suiting to cocktail dresses was paired with simple, sleek ankle boots in various fabrics and colors – a wardrobe staple for any metropolitan woman. Sleeves were slit up the seams to reveal elbows, and in some cases, bright pops of color calling back to Chanel‘s Fall/Winter 2018 ready-to-wear collection.