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You would think—wouldn’t you? —That Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld met in real life…Strangely enough, Coco and the Kaiser never met, not once! Yet, there’s no one on this earth that knows Coco Chanel better than Karl Lagerfeld himself, and today’s collection was a testimony between Karl and Coco’s relationship.

Karl Lagerfeld candidly referred to Coco Chanel as “a bitch, you know. Chanel was mean. She was a real bitch,” explains Karl Lagerfeld. If anything, the house of Chanel has survived the test of time thank-you to Coco’s unsurpassable style and her valuable contributions to the world of fashion, and most importantly because of Lagerfeld’s untamed ingenuity and insistence on making Chanel appealing for today’s generation.

Karl Lagerfeld rocked Texas to its core when he brought the sensational Métiers d’Art fashion show to Dallas’ Fair Park, an arresting complex of Art Deco buildings and sculptures that date back to 1936. The Kaiser turned one of the halls at Fair Park, into a rodeo-styled barn, completed with a hay-scattered runway, wooden stands, while American and French flags hanged from the ceiling.

Before the unveiling of the “Paris-Dallas” collection—the nearly nine-hundred guests were treated to a drive-in movie theater completed with seventy-four restored vintage cars parked in front of four giant screens—Karl Lagerfeld premiered “The Return” staring Geraldine Chaplin, the short film depicts Coco’s incredible return to the center stage after fifteen years of hiatus from the world of fashion.

As for the fashion, you asked? Monsieur Lagerfeld did not disappoint the Chanel faithful, who flew from all four corners of the world to witness his love letter to Texas and all things Americana, were treated to a collection inspired by early nineteen century American culture mixed with the romanticism, and sheer elegance of the American-West.

The staggering ninety-four looks had it all—from Native American inspired textiles to cliché denim looks, customary Chanel tweeds, or laminated jersey knits that resemble leather, which made for a refreshing contradiction.

The collection featured the savoir-faire of many Parisian ateliers such as Lemarié, who hand painted the hundreds of feathers and flowers appearing

on several of the looks, while Maison Michel churned-out those catchy Stetson-hats (typically worn by cowboys), and all the breathtaking embroidery and appliqués were done by the skillful artisans at Lesage.

Karl Lagerfeld poetically pluck the stars out the Texas panhandle and repurposed them as multicolored sequined paillettes on a sheer, ballet-length evening dress worn with a matching bolero jacket. Now, that’s what your call a star-spangled night-sky!

The accessories included strands of pearls looped like Native American lariats, or classic Chanel chains threaded with strips of denim, and rhinestone encrusted pistol brooches. Some of the purses resemble oil barrels, perfect to carry your cell phone or a bottle of No. 5. While, the collection’s boots were certainly “made for walking” across the Texas terrain—double linked Chanel C branded into the chunky wooden heels and classic chased-metal tips in dull gold.

The iconic Chanel suit became a bit boxier, the skirt is longer and fuller, and its worn with chopped-off boots and high collar, prairie-styled blouse. For the Lone Star State: Karl sent out a mirage of chiffon blouses with origami pleats and ruffles, worn with various denim pieces or swinging mid-length skirts.

Miles and miles of fringe accentuated everything from a knit poncho in Native American wall-art tapestry to fringed edges on the trousers or jackets. Karl Lagerfeld closed the show in a high note…an all white ensemble: fringed trousers worn with a delicate pleated, chiffon/lace blouse, and finish with a floor-grazing feather headdress.

Please, note that Dallas was just the stage for the show and served, as a connection to Coco’s return to the world of fashion never was she influence by the so-called “Dallas style. ”So, why should Karl be influenced by the “Dallas style” for his Métiers d’Art collection? It was about “the West of the Mexican border in the time of the Civil War, a more romantic Texas fantasy,” said Karl Lagerfeld.

Today’s collection reflected “Dallas style” to some extent, but most importantly it was a collection that highlighted the American-West style in a not so literal way—Instead, Karl Lagerfeld gave it a romantic, modern new look. Bravo!

To learn more, please visit www.chanel.com #Chanel #ParisDallas #KarlLagerfeld #TheReturn 

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Photography by: Chanel