Chanel’s pre-fall and resort shows often force editors and famous people to travel around the globe to exotic destinations. Last year Karl Lagerfeld showed pre-fall in Shanghai, while his most recent resort collection was shown in St. Tropez. Anyway, this season, Karl brought pre-fall back to Paris, where he showed a Byzantine-inspired collection. “Hand Lagerfeld a fragment and he can construct a wall of shimmering fashion possibility,” enthuses WWD.
Lagerfeld had toyed with showing in Istanbul, where Chanel just opened a 3,800-square-foot flagship and where Byzantium once flourished on the banks of the Bosphorus. Yet by showing in its Rue Cambon couture salons, transformed into a gilded Turkish tearoom, Chanel put the focus on the clothes. “It’s all about mosaics,” said Lagerfeld, who traveled to Ravenna, Italy, to view the intricate artworks from the fifth and sixth centuries that adorn its churches and monuments. “I thought it was an influence that could be very much Chanel,” he said. “It’s also about a spirit.”
But the opportunity for a dramatic Turkish fashion show has not been lost or forgotten: Chanel will stage the same show in Istanbul next spring, Chanel president Bruno Pavlovsky said. He expects double-digit growth for this Paris-Byzance pre-fall collection, explaining, “We have a growing demand for this kind of very outstanding product. It’s another way for a client to feel unique.” And a fabulous way for Chanel to make money. “Heavily embellished” items can run from about $20,000 to $40,000, while plainer jackets cost around $4,000.
Chanel Pre-Fall 2011 [WWD]