“India for me is an idea. I know nothing about reality, so I have the poetic vision.” – K. Lagerfeld
Wow. This was the recurrent word that came to our thoughts as we watched in complete awe the Chanel Indian-Paris themed Metiers D’Art show, which was held this past Thursday in Paris’ Grand Palais. The Metiers d’Art show was launched in 2003 as an ode to the label’s iconic workshop. However grand the show, it was tinted with a bit of sadness due to the passing of Francois Lesage, owner of the renowned embroidery atelier company Lesage which Chanel had acquired in 2002, just last week. He was 83.
Nevertheless, Karl Lagerfeld spared no expense recreating the golden days of the Indian Raj.
The set was gleaming with stunning chandeliers, banquet tables laden with opulent candelabras, extravagant floral arrangements and incredible food displays fit for an entire royal family. And of course, there was a silver train running across the center stage, reminiscent of the one that belongs to the royal family of Gwalior, India.
There was no sign of an economic downturn at the show, but knowing Karl we didn’t expect any sign of austerity to be visible anyway. The models wore stunning couture jewelry pieces like nose rings, head tikas, temple chokers, hand covered bracelets and beaded chains. Clothing pieces included, but not limited to, golden tweed jackets, embellished coats, lungi skirts, of course the Jodhpuris and Indian salwar-like bottom silhouettes. Karl was able to imitate the Indian culture at its best, he succeeded in portraying both prêt and couture collections in perfect harmony when many others in the past have failed to do so.
After the show, Karl was heard saying India is a country where “even the poor has dignity…even the poor women own three gold bracelets.” We agree and how wonderful to see a diverse and rich culture be likened with such beauty in contemporary times.
Below are just some of the images from the night. The stunning collection will be available at all Chanel boutiques in May 2012. Chanel Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art show
Embroideries by Lesage for Chanel
Head pieces by Maison Michel for Chanel
Shoes by Massaro for Chanel
The full show can be viewed on Youtube here.