Chanel's youthful appeal

Chanel is spiky and modern in a collection designed for the young-at-heart.

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld delighted haute couture’s new breed of deep-pocketed customer with a collection just like them – young, modern and in many cases Asian.

Boyish, spiky-haired models wore hats perched on the back of their heads, cycling shorts and flat sandals with ribbons tied in a bow around the ankle.

Bags with long straps were slung around the body like school satchels.

Asked about the collection’s youthful feel, the designer joked that not many customers were interested in clothes with an “old” feel. If there was a future, he said, “it can be like this“.

Lagerfeld drew inspiration for his collection from one of the pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier.

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges the public with a model at the end of the Chanel 2014/2015 Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection fashion show on July 8, 2014 at the Grand Palais in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK
Karl Lagerfeld with his finale look.

In the early 1930s, the architect created a terrace at his apartment overlooking the Champs-Elysees with an outdoor fireplace and a mirror set against a concrete wall.

Cue Lagerfeld’s latest fashion extravaganza with a set inside Paris’ Grand Palais that was all sharp lines and big white walls.

Huge panelled doors at either end of the catwalk slid open to reveal two Le Corbusier-style mirrors above 18th-century mantelpieces.

Lagerfeld sent out a string of memorable looks, featuring playful skirts, pointed shoulders, fur necklines and heavy embroidery that created a rich, baroque effect.

“I liked the idea of baroque elements and modern touches. His (Le Corbusier’s) apartment was a famous place for that,” Lagerfeld said after the show.

The architect’s terrace was destroyed before World War II but appeared over the years in many architectural books and magazines, he said.

“This is the typical thing of the collection – concrete with baroque elements. Le Corbusier goes to Versailles,” Lagerfeld added. — AFP