Fashion Show Episode 3: Chanel Spring/Summer 2014 Paris

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Fashion Show Episode 3: CHANEL Spring/Summer 2014 Paris HD

With life-sized works of modern art scattered around the Grand Palais, German designer Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his latest vision for Chanel.

The Grand Palais was transformed into a gigantic white-walled hangar of paintings and sculpture all seventy-five of them made by Lagerfeld during his Summer of Prodigious Creativity. He didn't actually make them himself but he drew the pieces or made maquettes so his studio could realize the finished product. Just like Jeff Koons. And, as with Koons, Karl's reference points were identifiable, though he cleverly twisted them so they each included some element of Chanel: a camellia, a pearl, a bottle of No. 5. Some of them had red dots beside their titles, like they'd already been sold. Postshow, he wearily insisted he had no intention of doing any such thing; he'd already been asked a thousand times, just like he'd been asked to sign the whole lot.

British model Cara Delevingne starred in the show.

"CHANEL" Haute Couture Spring Summer Full Show 2014 Paris

The woman imagined by Karl Lagerfeld for the Chanel Spring/Summer Haute Couture is all about spectacle! Imagine a space-age night club in an ice palace, with Sébastien Tellier and his orchestra playing in the background, and you've just about got the atmosphere of the show.

The message comes strong and clear right from the start: high heels are banished and Karl the couture Kaiser sends onto the runway only trainers-clad models in the style of young big-money girls.

The couture dresses were exquisite examples of haute couture handcraft, encrusted with microscopic sequins, hand-embroidered flowers, degrading into ostrich feathers, glimmering with iridescence. Chanel champions those artisan-forms: the house has bought a number of specialist workshops, including the embroidery house Lesage and feather specialists Lemarié, to ensure their survival into the twenty-first century. Their work is essential to the magical impossibility of haute couture, the sort of clothes you have to bury your head into to fully comprehend.

Lagerfeld is not one to be satisfied with a show trick and pushes on the accelerator pedal to present a collection that is clearly inspired to the world of sport. The classic Chanel bouclé suit is transformed into a tennis kit, jumpsuits are offered in tulle embellished with crystal embroideries, jackets seem to hint at the shape of Olympic uniforms while bags are fashioned into fanny packs.