Fresh air at Chanel's Paris fashion show and Queen Bee at McQueen

Tue Oct 2, 2012 11:25pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - Fashion changes as quickly as the wind, and maybe that's what Karl Lagerfeld had in mind on Tuesday at Chanel, where enormous wind turbines greeted guests at his spring/summer 2013 show in Paris.

But with the floors of the expansive Grand Palais made to resemble solar panels, one might have thought the prolific German designer was instead making a statement on going green.

"I started to sketch in St. Tropez over the summer and it was so hot I wanted some fresh air," Lagerfeld explained after the show.


Whatever the reasoning, Lagerfeld presented a wide-ranging readywear collection that occasionally incorporated synthetic fabric, but one in which classic Chanel looks using nubby wool, tweed and pearls were reworked for warm weather - all without one camellia in sight.

Jennifer Lopez, wearing a cream lace thigh-baring dress, was surrounded by a phalanx of cameras in the front row, where rapper Kanye West and model-come-actress Laeticia Casta also held court.

"It's so chic, it's so French, it's like a monument today," Casta said of Chanel, which has managed to keep its fashion clout and mighty branding power under the watchful eye of Lagerfeld more than 40 years after the death of founder Coco Chanel.

The first look down the runway was, unsurprisingly, a little black suit, but its kicky leather skirt imparted an edgy flair and Chanel's beloved pearls, surrounded by rhinestones, dotted the boxy jacket in a whimsical polka dot pattern.   Continued...

A model presents a creation by German designer Karl Lagerfeld for French fashion house Chanel as part of his Spring/Summer 2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week October 2, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau