Lagerfeld ditches stilettos for sneakers
LOOK at their shoes!
Flat, flirtatious, fancied-up sneakers that are woman-friendly to the models running down the stairs, past the band and onto the silvered surface of the Chanel set.
Sneakers at Chanel! Along with sporty waistbanded corsets, knee and elbow protective pads and wild hair, licking the head like flames and dubbed Chariots of Fire by the designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The audience's gasp at this footwear transformation in the spring-summer 2014 couture collection on Tuesday must have reverberated beyond Chanel's usual showplace, the Grand Palais in Paris.
Lagerfeld, the master of reinvention who has designed for Chanel for four decades, sent out a collection as light and charming as it was profound.
"You can be in fashion without being a victim," he said, explaining that the embroidered, chiffon-wrapped sports shoes, in the same dawn-pink, blue and cloud-white hues as the clothes, were made by couture shoemaker Massaro.
If this had been a ready-to-wear collection, it would have been striking.
As haute couture, it was magical, knowing that each silvery slither of sequins, every shining square or dot on airy clothes that covered the body with iridescent voile, had been hand-sewn.
"Like water," said the designer, describing the quivering reflections on the fabric that seemed to pick up points of light.
This was one of Lagerfeld's finest collections, a homage to haute couture and to Chanel's ateliers, while also an expression of modernity.
At the same time, there was a tenderness in the soft colours, as there was in the finale when Lagerfeld's godson, Hudson Kroenig, held model Cara Delevingne's bridal train.
The designer himself, in a tailored Raf Simons coat, wore a pair of snakeskin boots that peeped from under his pants.
"For myself, I don't do sneakers," he said.