Karl Lagerfeld installed an entire Parisian brasserie - Brasserie Gabrielle named after Chanel's founder - for his show for that house in Paris this morning. The world's greatest couturier was enjoying a quintessentially French moment. Models stepped out in looks that nodded to that theme - a sequinned, bejewelled Chanel apron was especially gorgeous, a skirt made out of haute napkins was as chic as might be expected and a white ceramic saucer bag stamped with the iconic logo was a witty twist.
The typically elaborate, blockbuster concept, which came complete with fully operational bars, clusters of little round tables, plump red leather banquettes and more, was a stroke of marketing genius, of course, but never at the expense of the clothes.
Chanel Autumn Winter 2015 Show PFW
Chanel outerwear - think parkas and puffas in the finest fabrics imaginable and finished with more jewels and paillettes - was wonderful. The Chanel suit - in a monochrome palette and later typically Gallic shades - looked as desirable as ever with a grande bourgeoise pencil skirt that fell to just below the knee or shorter, fuller and sweetly coquettish. The little black dress was especially fine with a white collar (like a French waitress?) or in chiffon and cut into a youthful trapeze line.
Gilt chain belts and necklaces dripping with gold coin, ropes of pearls and eased chignons all completed the look in a perfectly put together though never overdone way. And as for the shoes... For the first time in his long and grand career, M Lagerfeld put the classic beige and black pump onto his runway. With a mid-heel and sling back it was as polite and classically Parisian as it was perfect.