Why Lagerfeld’s Choice Of Venue For Last Night’s Chanel Show Was Significant

By Alice Casely-Hayford

With just over 36 hours to recover from the Fashion Awards in London, on Wednesday evening the fashion elite regrouped for Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2018 show in Hamburg, Germany. Hosted at the Elbphilharmonie — a striking, glass concert hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron, unveiled in January 2017 — the venue choice marked a return for Karl Lagerfeld to his hometown of Hamburg and served as the perfect backdrop for a collection inspired by the sea.

Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock
Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock
Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock
Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

The annual Métiers d’Art collections (Wednesday’s event was Chanel’s 16th consecutive year showing them) honors the fine craftsmanship that artisans like embroiderers, knitters, milliners, button specialists, jewelers, and shoemakers bring to the French fashion house. This season saw model Anna Ewers open the show in a navy knitted minidress with knit leg warmers, a concertina bag, and a naval cap. The mostly black, gray, and cream offering consisted of intricately detailed signature twinsets, button-up culottes, and modish minis all paired with black tights, glittering strings of pearl necklaces, and veiled sailor hats.

The sea theme continued in the lapels of the jackets, which often featured a sailor silhouette and cashmere “fisherman” knitwear. Pops of color accented the muted palette, with vivid checked skirts or frocks and red tailoring. The show concluded with sumptuous dresses that truly showed off the skilled work of Chanel’s petite mains, featuring rhinestone, feathers, ribbons, beads and cabochons to create exceptional patterns, trompe l’œils, reflections, and textures.

As the full cast of models (including Kaia Gerber and Soo Joo Park) assembled on the stage, Karl Lagerfeld took his bow, accompanied by his young muse and godson, nine-year-old Hudson Kroenig. As rumors circulate that Lagerfeld will soon be retiring from his role at Chanel, which he’s held since 1983, it makes perfect sense that Lagerfeld would stage his swan song in his hometown of Hamburg. But then again, many thought his fall ’16 dedicated to the house’s couturiers and its atelier was also his last. And instead of stepping down, Lagerfeld kept doing what he does best: he just kept going.

Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

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