Karl Lagerfeld is putting Texas back on the fashion map with the Chanel Metiers d'Art fashion show, writes Anna Hunter
The name ‘Coco Chanel’ conjures sophisticated visions of tweed, pearls, twin-sets and café au lait sipped on Parisian side streets. Fringing, Stetsons and Deep South saloons not so much, yet despite Mademoiselle Chanel’s detestation of denim, as evidenced in Karl Lagerfeld’s newly released short film The Returned, the legendary French designer’s ties with Texas were as tight as rodeo reins. Dallas may not possess the catwalk kudos of Paris, New York, London or Milan, but the city was kind to Coco, and like a grand Gallic elephant, the house of Chanel never forgets.
Chanel’s affiliation with Texas was yesterday celebrated at the brand’s ‘Métiers d’Art’ show, held at Fair Park in Dallas. Just as in previous years, the pre Autumn/Winter 2014 collection was showcased at a locale close to Coco Chanel’s heart, and the Texans won favour with the celebrated couturier thanks to their wholehearted support of her post-war Fifties comeback collection. While European press and buyers shunned the designs, American retailers, notably Neiman Marcus, embraced Chanel’s return with open arms (and wallets…). Chanel’s renaissance was realised, and in a reciprocal show of thanks Karl Lagerfeld is once again putting Texas on the map de la mode.
Despite sub-zero temperatures, fashion’s great and good gathered aside hay bales to watch the very unique fusion of Coco and cowboy. Double denim, fringing and saddlebags all featured, as did the pre-requisite pearls and immaculate tailoring. Exquisite handiwork hailing from Chanel’s 11 couture workshops was complemented by windswept, feathered hairdos overseen by hair hero (and actor extraordinaire) Sam McKnight, and shimmering swipes of silver on models’ cut glass cheekbones. French, Texan and Native American influences intermingled; the result was bold, brash and a whole lot of fun.
Guests such as Alexa Chung, Lauren Hutton, Poppy Delevingne, Lily Collins and Dakota Fanning seemed to agree, and even the fashion elite were in the mood for some good old fashioned southern horseplay; Anna Wintour arrived at the pre-show drive-in screening of The Returned in a convertible with Karl the King himself. Lagerfeld meanwhile displayed unusual openness, revealing his adulation of the American state:
“I love Dallas. I love Texans. They are the nicest of people.”
Not only did he sing the praises of the Deep South, but he also revealed that the next face of Chanel would be U.S actress Kristen Stewart. Karl loves a rebel after all, and like Coco before him, he’s not afraid to set his sights on pastures new, sartorially speaking. America rediscovered Coco Chanel, and now Karl is adding some star-spangled chic to Chanel’s 2014 collection campaign. We’re line dancing with joy.