Chanel takes its first steps on the British catwalk

The result was truly mesmerising. Carola Long reports

Roll out the black and white carpet. The iconic fashion house Chanel, famed for its monochromatic colour scheme, held a catwalk show in London for the first time ever yesterday.

The Maisons d'Art collection was marked by a party on Wednesday night, attended by Kylie and Claudia Schiffer of Monaco, and followed by two fashion shows yesterday. After this week's glamorous events, that famous interlocking C logo could easily stand for champagne and celebrities or, given the prices of the label's designs, credit cards.

All these ingredients were in play at the show yesterday, where a blow-dryed and manicured crowd clad mostly in Chanel and virtually all in black and white sipped champagne and nibbled Laduree macaroons before watching Karl Lagerfeld and Naomi Campbell sweep inside.

The Maisons d'Art collection was established in 2002 to celebrate the decorative craftsmanship of the couture ateliers bought by Chanel in the same year. Until they were acquired by the iconic Paris fashion house, these workshops were struggling for survival and their expert technicians, known as les petites mains, were at risk of vanishing forever.

Lagerfeld's masterfully restrained opulence proved why he has become such a legendary figure since assuming the top job at Chanel 25 years ago. True, the jewelled crucifixes adorning shoes and coats looked as if they could have been looted from the altar of an ornate church, but against the signature Chanel palette of monastic black and white, they struck just the right note of drama. The gothic-romantic feel of the show was enhanced by model, and former girlfriend of Pete Doherty, Irina Lazareneau's haunting live soundtrack. Goth-rock garments, such as long leather skirts, trenchcoats and ropes of black and white pearls, were lightened by romantic pieces such as a softly voluminous cream silk tunic with star-patterned lace trim.

The "Paris-Londres" show, as this collection was called, acknowledged the influence of "English chic," on Coco Chanel, and featured Union Jack-design handbags with the label's signature chain handle.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
people
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Lily James in ‘Cinderella’
film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Lead Quality Auditor

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Identifying and communicating issues raised, p...

    Recruitment Genius: Weekend Catering Supervisor - Temporary

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To be responsible for working with the Caterin...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - Infrastructure / VMWare - Hertfordshire

    £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established industry leading business is l...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Hertfordshire -Large Established Business

    £22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss