Design

Chanel Evokes Ancient Egypt at the Met

Sari Anne Tuschman

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It’s a fairly rare and special occurrence for a Chanel fashion show to take place within the United States, but New York City was a place dear to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, just as it is for the French house’s legendary creative director Karl Lagerfeld. And so last week the Big Apple hosted one of the year’s biggest gatherings of the fashion elite: the Chanel Métiers d’Art show, which pays homage to the various craftsmen and women who help create Chanel’s intricate designs.

In a display of grandeur fitting of Chanel, the event was staged at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the ancient Temple of Dendur (the only other brand to set up a runway in the museum was Valentino in the ’80s), drawing an array of the who’s who, including editors, influencers and celebrities such as Julianne Moore, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Christy Turlington Burns.

The evening showcased models—some with golden airbrushed legs and many in gold footwear—strutting the square runway in a noticeably edgier, Egyptian-inspired collection replete with bejeweled collared necklaces, pyramid-shaped purses, bold scarab prints, turban-like leather hats, sharp black eye makeup and gold, gold, gold. Even the house’s signature tweed seemed to take on new shapes and personality in the spectacular setting, some styles hugging the body, while other tweed pieces were paired with shiny gold boots. But the pièce de résistance of the evening just might have been Pharrell commanding the runway in gold pants. The evening concluded with Lagerfeld taking his bow with Chanel fashion studio director Virginie Viard, something he also did at the show in October in Paris’ Grand Palais. They were joined—as always—by Lagerfeld’s godson Hudson Kroenig.

Once the spectacle concluded, another was in store as Chanel transported all the attendees to Central Park where they had constructed a photo-ready, retro Chanel Diner. The after-party satiated guests with hot dogs, burgers, fries, milkshakes, spiked Shirley Temples and a performance by singer-songwriter Kelela, creating the perfect ending to an unforgettable night.