to fashion…and beyond!
Our regular readers have probably noticed my soft spot for fashion and the overlapping of different arts. Architecture, interior design and luxe clothing can all be friends, and to prove it, we have invited to the catwalk an icon – the French fashion house Chanel and their beautiful shows.
The leading brands release at least four collections every year while also participating in fashion weeks to showcase their creations to industry insiders and celebrities from around the world. How to stand out from the crowd and be remembered for seasons to come? Chic and sophisticated clothes are one thing, but they must go hand in hand with elaborate and memorable set designs. Chanel, led by the late Karl Lagerfeld, has mastered this art to perfection.
Paris fashion weeks, a red-letter for any aficionado of haute couture, are accompanied by the most splendid of performances. For fashion directors, the choice of the venue is almost as important as the collection itself. Chanel’s favorite has for years been the famous 1900-built Parisian exhibition hall Grand Palais with its stunning glass ceiling.
Each collection is a story apart and the show is like a performance, in which interior design always plays a huge role. And so, over the years, Chanel has transformed the exhibition space into anything ranging from a sandy surfers’, a typical French café, a supermarket, an airplane interior, a melting glacier, or even an entire alpine village. And it would be an understatement to say that sky’s the limit for the French icon, given that during the Fall-Winter 2017/18 Show, a space rocket was placed and launched from inside the historic building.
One of the most subtle and yet demanding designs was set up for the Spring-Summer 2018 Show, when Lagerfeld and his team took us to a garden full of rose pergolas surrounding a real fountain. Incredibly, all this was the product of just a few days’ work and the backstage efforts were immortalized in an episode of the Netflix documentary 7 Days Before. Teamwork involving tens of people requires a great deal of precision and determination, but if carried out well, it transports viewers, if only briefly but still magically, to a completely different world.
Where does art end and fashion begin? Perhaps we don’t have to set such boundaries, but take in these marvelous performances with the totality of our senses. Beautiful clothes, over a century-old architecture and an intricately constructed background – if that isn’t a recipe for success, I don’t know what is! Add to that a glass of French rouge and you’ve got yourself an evening that will stay with you for seasons to come.
transl. Jakub Majchrzak