Chanel Skips The Celebs & Lets The Atelier's Actual Stars Do The Final Walk

There's no one quite like Karl Lagerfeld to turn a runway show into a plot of fantasy on Earth (see: this, this, this, and this). But as anyone who's ever held Chanel in her hands will tell you, the most magical place in existence is a real, actual place (that doesn't get packed up and shipped away once Fashion Week is over): It's the Chanel atelier. This morning, Lagerfeld celebrated this ultimate fantasy by creating a miniature (or, more accurately, a maximal?) version of the Chanel couture atelier within the gigantic Grand Palais gallery in Paris, replete with the house's actual petite mains who hand-stitched the garments, as models emerged around them.
Photo: Giovanni Giannoni/REX.
Advertisement
The intimate audience, including Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, new Chanel face Willow Smith, Celine Dion, and Olivia Palermo, watched on from the edge of the "studio" as Edie Campbell opened the show in a boxy tweed suit with wide-legged cropped trousers and low-heeled, black suede boots. Campbell also closed the show, donning a final "wedding dress" look made of pink sequins; a frothy, feathery collar, and pink camellias.
Most Chanel shows end with Lagerfeld inviting the major Chanel face of the moment, like Cara Delevingne or Brad Kroenig and his son Hudson, to do the final walk with him. But this time around, Lagerfeld was joined by two chief couturiers from the atelier, a sign of gratitude and appreciation for his most unrecognized staffers.
In the grand scheme of things, this decision to bring out the makers (as opposed to the muse of the moment), may not seem particularly extraordinary. But, as we saw in the documentary Dior and I (and if you haven't seen, you must do so immediately), it's the seamstresses in the atelier who bring the magic of couture to life, though they mostly stay behind the scenes throughout the whole process. So, it was refreshing to see Lagerfeld put these artists front and center (on the runway, no less) and really celebrate the craftsmanship that couture is all about.
Advertisement

More from Designers

Carlton Banks, your moment as a fashion icon has come. On Wednesday, Miuccia Prada showed a collection that, at first glance, might not immediately remind ...
While other luxury heritage brands are sticking to what they know (meaning the dated, one-season-out showing), Burberry is keeping up with the times — and ...
Since taking the helm at Gucci at the beginning of 2015, designer Alessandro Michele has singlehandedly transformed the fashion industry. He (like ...
Sewing, cutting, draping, steaming — though you might not know how to do these things yourself, you’d recognize most of the processes of creating an ...
You don't have to raise your hand if you're among the people who choose to take a break from Instagram during Fashion Week; we know you're out there, and ...
Last February, we were treated to a crayon-colored, upbeat disco for Ashish's, fall 2016 presentation. This season, however, Ashish Gupta took a more ...
I have been working in the fashion industry for just over eight years now, but I’ve spent the majority of my life being big. Even in my wildest fashion ...
(Paid Content) Last week, Thakoon left convention behind when he presented his new collection at a scenic waterfront setting in Brooklyn, perfectly timed ...
J.W. Anderson's intimate show for spring/summer 2017 wasn't one for claustrophobes. The front (and only) row in a tightly-packed, vibrant green corridor ...
It's almost a running joke in fashion that the most universally disliked shoes can (and do) make unexpected, sweeping comebacks. Case in point: The Ugg x...
After the models stormed the catwalk, '80s super style, for the finale of the Topshop Unique show, editors, buyers, and A-listers shuffled toward the door...
In a Fashion Month with many established brands attempting to revive their houses via designer switch-ups and step-downs (and some labels just opting out ...
To the masses, Michael Kors' best-sellers may be handbags and ballet flats. And that's fine; it's how one builds a billion-dollar fashion empire. But each ...
Athleisure has taken many forms as it's flourished over the past few years. You can wear a sports bra designed by your favorite celebrity, like, say, ...