Paris Fashion Week Day 7

Chanel - Runway - PFW F/W 2013

10:30am – The Chanel show is such a massive affair that police have been hired to direct traffic outside the Grand Palais, where it’s held every season.  I don’t so much walk into the venue as get swept and carried away by the crowd. Inside a giant globe sits in the middle of the runway with little illuminated flags bearing interlocked Cs pinned to all of the countries that have Chanel stores. Across the room from where I sit, a gang of paparazzi are running at break-neck speed to photograph someone who has just walked in. When the flashes calm down, I can make out Frank Ocean and Jessica Chastain sitting front row.

10:40am – There’s a lot of change in the air in Paris right now, with so many new incarnations of old storied houses. This morning, insiders are still dumbfounded by what Hedi Slimane showed at Saint Laurent last night. So the consistency of Karl Lagerfeld’s presence at Chanel is a reassuring source of stability for a small, gilded community of luxury houses in a state of constant flux. More than any other collection that he’s shown in recent years, this one looked like pure Karl Lagerfeld. Maybe it’s the by-product of his work, developing his recently resurrected namesake line, but his autumn/winter work featured all of the hallmarks of Chanel, with the slick, rocker-tinged note of futurism we’ve come to associate with its creative director.  Standouts include a black tweed skirt suit done in glossy leather and a series of little black dresses, some embellished with patent strips, others with soft gathered folds of white silk. Even the leather boots, covered in badass chains, look like something Karl himself would wear. It’s as if the giant globe the models are revolving around is meant to remind us who the real king of Paris is.–KH


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