Never one for something understated and subtle, in March, Karl Lagerfeld concluded the Chanel ready-to-wear AW17 show with a life-size shuttle lifting off inside Paris' Grand Palais. This morning, Lagerfeld managed to top that spectacle by recreating the Eiffel Tower inside the glass-domed show space for the latest Chanel couture collection.
Set against the backdrop of Paris' most iconic landmark – albeit a near-life-size replica – the first model emerged wearing a structured bouclé grey coat with matching grey boater hat. (Following Dior's couture show yesterday, which featured a whole host of grey, it's evident that slate-coloured, structured silhouettes and matching hats are a big trend for couture.) There were the signature tweed twinsets we expect from Chanel in black, navy and grey, paired with patent ankle boots with perspex heels and oversized pearl earrings. These transitioned into more colourful creations embellished with plumes of feathers, floral rosettes and crystal detailing as the elegant jackets and skirts morphed into pleated frocks, sumptuous evening gowns and, of course, the bridal dress as the magnificent finale.
Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams, Julianne Moore, Lily Collins and Katy Perry all sat in the front row to see Lagerfeld's latest designs; however, the bridal dress that often closes a couture show was not the actual conclusion to this morning's extravaganza. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was in attendance in order to decorate the 83-year-old visionary with a Grand Vermeil medal – the highest distinction the city can offer – recognising his remarkable achievements and contribution to the French capital, as well as to the world of fashion. Congrats Karl!