Karl Lagerfeld: the man who doesn’t do things in halves

Karl Lagerfeld has done it again – and this time, he’s brought a pinewood forest with him.

Words by Dorothy Musariri

Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld has once again got the world talking – about a venue and its décor, rather than his fashion line. At his latest Autumn/Winter 2018 show at the Grand Palais, the audience looked on as the models strutted down a sandy runway. Winter trees towered over them, and sounds of chirping birds could be heard as Lagerfeld’s efforts to transform the catwalk into a pine forest came true.

“I saw it in my dream, put it on my paper, gave it to the man that builds my set, and I think he worked it out beautifully,” explains Lagerfeld. Within the interior, the show was set against palette of russets, reds and orange, moss and pine green, bark brown, prints of foliage and rings of grey wood.

The audience sat on benches constructed from tree trunks, and real moss and fallen leaves gave the show an authentic, earthy smell and atmosphere. Meanwhile, models paraded the runway and were evidently dressed to fit in with the surroundings; the show featured branch-like braids, jewelled buttons chiselled with leaves, suitors of beads and pastel-hued glass paste.

Known for his theatrical, entertaining sets, Lagerfeld’s past Grand Palais shows have included a supermarket, a gym, a Parisian brasserie, an underwater themed oasis, a doll house and a rocket-ship - yes, you read that correctly. Situated in the heart of Paris, the Grand Palais was first built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, and has since become a landmark in the city. 

Set to begin in 2020, the Grand Palais’ renovation was announced with a budget of £455 million. The exhibition areas will be redesigned, and will include a panoramic roof terrace, with a reception and catering areas. Chanel will contribute £22 million to the project, which is no surprise – it’s where they regularly show their collections haute-couture and ready-to-wear collections, and it has been heavily linked with the Chanel since 2005. If Karl Lagerfeld's past shows are anything to go by, we can't wait to see what he will come up with next. 

All images: Chanel News

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