The spirit of Coco Chanel was well and truly alive in Rome yesterday, summoned in true inimitable style by Karl Lagerfeld during the 12th annual Métiers d’Art show. Staged in place of a Pre-Fall collection, Chanel’s Métiers d’Art acts as a showcase for the fashion house’s specialist artisans. They are the providers of everything from delicate lace to intricate embroidery and gold-trimmed buttons, and all were in abundance for this latest collection.
This was Karl at his finest; an elaborate set drenched in significance, an extensive collection of looks which riffed on Chanel’s best signatures and a host of supermodels and celebrities to seal the deal.
But let’s start with that set. Only Chanel could combine the glamour of 60s Italian cinema with the insouciance of Paris to produce clothes that were as cool and effortless as they were exquisitely made. The Roman film studio was transformed into a Parisian street, complete with Metro station, from which the models emerged. There were the requisite tweed suits, this time for the boys as well as the girls, slouchy jersey dresses, beautiful applique details, gothic, romantic lace and capes slung over shoulders. Jackets were tied around the waist; accessories were as covetable as ever.
Perhaps the most desirable of all will be that old fashioned camera bag, not to mention the shoes with pearl-encrusted heels.
Bella Hadid, Lara Stone and Sam Rollinson led the model line-up, while Rooney Mara and Kristen Stewart sat FROW-side. More than simply watching from the sidelines, however, K-Stew was one of the main attractions as Karl unveiled his brand new film, Once and Forever, in which she stars as Coco Chanel herself.
The whole event felt like a celebration of all that is Chanel; of all that is Parisian. As Karl said backstage to Vogue‘s Sarah Mower: “It is just an idea, a dream, of Paris. We need to keep dreaming, because the reality in Paris is bleak. And that is not funny.”