The new Chanel Paris in Rome 2016 Métiers d’art collection inspired by French actresses and Italian cinema, Karl Lagerfeld chose a legendary place where all imaginary worlds and creative desires come together: the Cinecittà Studios in Rome.
The Chanel Pre-Fall 2016 runway show depicted an idealized Paris neighborhood complete with cheese shops, wine merchants, bakeries, an oyster bar and, of course, a cinema. The décor was a nod to late French production designer Alexandre Trauner, who famously designed sets for most of Marcel Carné’s films in the Thirties and Forties.
Lagerfeld also premiered “Once and Forever,” an 11-minute movie he directed that features Kristen Stewart as a fiery actress slated to star in a Chanel biopic.
“It’s like the French girl comes to Rome, with a few little touches inspired by the cardinals,” he said. “But it’s very Paris. It’s not Rome and alta moda. This has nothing to do with priests.”
With their long hair teased into messy demi-beehives by Sam McKnight, the girls slouched one by one out of a fake Paris Metro station, some of them wearing long jackets shrugged over long, lace-covered legs, others in black ciré pencil skirts and patent raincoats, one in a quilted leather suit. There were metallic embroideries and pleating on caped shapes, delicate faggoting techniques on slip dresses, and, at one point, an ovoid, coral pink–petaled dress that seemed to nod in the direction of the couturiers of Rome—Capucci, perhaps.
Lagerfeld also paid homage to other kinds of Parisians, from gamines in schoolgirl tweeds and Timberland-style boots to more bourgeois types with white collars and cuffs. The knitwear was exceptional, especially gossamer pleated skirts edged in lace and geometric crewnecks topped with elaborate jeweled capelets.
Watch backstage as Karl Lagerfeld greets his guests and prepares for a magical show.