“Could she be the girl to help me see, CC the world?” sang Pharell in his duet with Cara Delevingne in a seven-minute film dubbed Reincarnation by Karl Lagerfeld, which featured Geraldine Chaplin as Coco Chanel. The story was inspired from Chanel’s trip to the Mittersill Hotel in Salzburg, Austria and highlighted how a bell-boy’s uniform served as the inspiration for Chanel’s signature little black jacket.
These days, “CCing the world” is Chanel’s mission. And if the face of Karl Lagerfeld on the cover of major Austrian magazines serves as any indication, Salzburg vibrated to the tune of CC yesterday. The best hotels in town were filled with Chanel’s guests, who were entertained with tours of the Christmas market, Sound of Music sets, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart landmarks. Even the Rococo Schloss Leopoldskron palace, where the show was held, was redecorated and outfitted in biscuits and (CC-shaped) pretzels, candles, and fruits in order to produce a fanciful winter fairytale.
During the Reincarnation reveal dinner at Salzburg’s oldest restaurant, Lagerfeld showed his tablemates photos of himself dressed in lederhosen when he was a young boy. Austria has always been close to Lagerfeld’s heart, which makes this collection one that will live in fashion history books as one of his most intimate.
The models, including the likes of Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Lara Stone, and Ondria Hardin, sported gilded eyelids and long coats and capes in ochre, burnt red, and, of course, Salzburg’s color: loden green. But far from the utilitarian clothes Austrians wear to protect themselves from the cold, the outerwear in this Paris-Salzburg collection showcased both feminine and masculine codes and did not shy away from embellishments such as sequins, floral appliqués and embroideries, gilding, and chains. The effervescent Parisian and the conservative German sides of Lagerfeld have never been so closely associated.
For daywear, the strongest offering was the traditional Tracht jacket, which was reinvented as the new Chanel jacket, along with thigh high suede flat brogues and various versions of the Girl bag introduced for Spring 2015. We Middle Eastern ladies, however, likely won’t be particularly inclined to invest in the cropped trousers or wide-cut pants accompanied with felt hats adorned with large feather crests. For eveningwear, Lagerfeld showcased exquisite compositions of butterflies and feathers on pale blue chiffon, fully-sequined dresses with delicate flower prints, feathered capes, and a festival of ribbons worked into versions of the Dirndl dress.
Following an impromptu poll among clients and press in attendance, there was a general consensus that there’s no fashion show more thrilling than a Chanel Métiers d’Art show. Previous Pre-Fall shows set in Paris, Dallas, Istanbul, and Edinburgh have made for the Maison’s most whimsical and, often, most wearable collections. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that Pre-Fall, an ode to the various ateliers that Chanel has acquired over the years, is its fastest growing fashion segment today, growing at double-digit rates according to Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion.