For the showing of its spring/summer 2014 haute couture collection, Chanel transformed Paris’s Grand Palais into the “Cambon Club”, Karl Lagefeld’s version of a dazzling “nightclub from another galaxy”, complete with aluminium floors and muslin-veiled mirrors.
To the sounds of an orchestra led by Sébastien Tellier, models bounded down a grand staircase, unhindered by adornments – no jewellery, no handbags, no gloves and, most notably, no heels.
Inspired by the fashions of the early 1800s, when women would always wear flat shoes – even under their ball gowns – Karl Lagerfeld turned fashion codes on their head, mixing the ultimate symbol of femininity, the corset, with the common sneaker.
“It is all about attitude, silhouette, shapes and cuts,” he said of the show.
The colours white and beige – enduring emblems of the House of Chanel – were coupled with pinks, pastels and iridescent tones interspersed with electrifying flashes of blue, green, gold, brass and black.
Look No 47 – a backless dress in organza and silk tulle, with a top, corset and underskirt embroidered with sequins, and a feather-covered overskirt with lurex fringes – was one of the standout pieces of the show.
Creating the dress involved 767 hours of embroidery work in L’Atelier Montex, while the feathers took a further 51 hours to be applied at the Lemarié ateliers. Luxury was given a rare and exclusive opportunity to follow the making of the dress, from its inception to its turn on catwalk.