Chanel's couture glitters among decayed rubble
Singer Rihanna, right, and Mel Ottenberg pose for photographers as they arrive to for Chanel's Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013-2014 collection, presented Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PARIS (AP) — A once-grand opera house that's now a scene of decaying rubble was the latest remarkable venue for Chanel's haute couture.
The setting saw Karl Lagerfeld carry off a dark, expressionist-tinged fall-winter 2013 collection — the glitter of embellished clothes contrasted with the faded romance of grimy curtains, a dark theatre stage and old wooden stalls.
Models wear creations by German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel's Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013-2014 collection, presented Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
But the nostalgia was only half the story of this strong show, staged inside Paris' Grand Palais.
When it began, an image of a futuristic metropolis beamed onto the theatre wall. When the models appeared, the first chic series of A-line skirt suit-styles were twinned with Grace Jones-style space-age hair. Intergalactic square hats that were attached at the back of the head, seemed to float like a geometric halo. It was a great anachronism.
Singer Rihanna, centre, leaves after attending Chanel's Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013-2014 collection, presented Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
"I presented something that was a vision from the past to the future, from the old world to the new . Fashion is the only thing that can travel between both," explained Lagerfeld, after posing for the cameras with Rihanna. She, appropriately enough, wore flappy pearls and a long, white baggy cardigan-dress that also harked back nostalgically to another era.