For the Chanel Spring 2015 Haute Couture runway show, a decor inspired by a botanical glasshouse welcomed the collection. Articulated flowers bloomed as the model passed by. The Chanel conservatory was planted with mechanical plants which opened up and produced origami flowers before our very eyes, a naively childlike moment of transient entertainment, which, of course took an army of experts to engineer. “I thought of it six months ago, in a flash,” said Karl Lagerfeld, cross-examined after the show. “There are 300 machines here under our feet, one to make each flower work.” It is exactly the same with the ridiculously intense inventive work that goes into every inch of Chanel couture embroidery on the runway, as he pointed out. Karl comes up with the vision—in this case, a fusion of Henri Matisse’s cutouts of leaves and 3-D paper Chinese lanterns—and then the ateliers apply themselves to figuring out how the minutiae of such structures can be faithfully conjured up in fabric.

With bare midriffs and low-slung hip belts, Karl Lagerfeld flirted with bad taste this season. Chanel honored two of its emblematic handbags: the classic handbag named the 11.12 by Karl Lagerfeld with its iconic double C lock and the Boy Chanel, as well as unveiling the Girl handbag, Karl Lagerfeld’s latest creation.