Chanel never does anything by halves. Their last show recreated Tate Modern with a Chanel-ified collection of contemporary art: for their haute couture collection in July, it was a bombed-out theatre, meticulously built from scratch. This time round, however, Chanel surpassed even that extravagance, schlepping a selection of fashion royalty to the darkest wilds of Dallas. Dallas? Yessiree.
For Chanel’s Metiers d'Art collection, the house’s presentation for the in-between season known as pre-fall, Karl Lagerfeld took inspiration from the US Mid-West, presenting a collection of leather, fringe and pattern-blanket ponchos in rodeo arena.
It’s par for the course chez Chanel. Other locales to have hosted - and served as an inspiration - for the house’s biannual Metiers d'Art shows include Shanghai, New York, Scotland’s Linlithgow Palace, and the Chateau de Versailles. They’re all a far cry from Dallas which, some may say, is a city relatively little-known for fashion, besides the shoulder-padded saga of the Ewings, or Sergio Leone’s 1966 film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
On show were vintage dresses, white leather fringed trousers, feathers, patriotic prints and camel leather. Tweed coats with belts were also seen on the rough catwalk along with cashmere wraps, black chiffon, metal-studded garments, shoulder-pads (of course) and plenty of fringes, decorated with gold military make up, tribal jewellery and a touch of bling.
Who would have ever imagined Mademoiselle Coco Chanel in Dallas? Ironically enough, the dame herself visited in 1957 to receive the Award for Distinguished Service in the field of fashion from department store Neiman Marcus. The inheritor of her Chanel mantle, Karl Lagerfeld, received the same award today.
That’s not to say the legendarily prickly Mademoiselle especially liked America. She was even quoted in the recently-debuted Lagerfeld-directed short film, The Return, saying “I hate denim”. But, America always got and backed Chanel, so Lagerfeld gave a treat to the American patriotism.
Lagerfeld counted with a front row of A-listers for his All American adventure, including Anna Wintour, Lily Collins, Lauren Hutton, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, who was named this morning as Chanel’s new “Face”.