Chanel goes for golden age Hollywood glamour in Paris couture show

3 min

Paris (AFP)

Chanel went all out for glitter in its Paris haute couture show Tuesday that channelled the full-on glamour of silver screen goddesses like Marlene Dietrich.

You could almost imagine the German diva air kissing designer Karl Lagerfeld -- "Mein Liebling!" -- in the hall of mirrors he had built inside the Grand Palais which was inspired by the famous spiral staircase of the label's headquarters nearby.

The veteran designer sent out a fandango of feathers and glittering sheath dresses that shouted Hollywood at its dazzlingly glamorous 1930s zenith.

No one was telling how many ostriches lost their tail feathers. As Cecil B. DeMille used to say, you cannot pluck spectacle from thin air.

Nor did Lagerfeld spare on the crystal. But this was bling without the brassy, all in the best possible taste.

As if to confirm its celluloid source, the show ended with Lily-Rose Depp on Lagerfeld's arm, the model daughter of film star Johnny Depp in a pale pink wedding cake frill dress.

Although the 83-year-old was uncharacteristically tight-lipped about his inspirations, the all-white set and huge white lilies brought to mind the British interior designer Syrie Maughan -- the wife of the novelist William Somerset Maughan.

The acres of snow-white salons she decorated when she went to Hollywood were the backdrop to some of the photographer Cecil Beaton's most famous shots.

- Pale, silvery hues -

Pale, silvery hues ran right through the collection and reached a crescendo with Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian clan in a column gown with a knee-height ring of feathers -- the ultimate dress for a Mae West entrance.

With the Jackie Kennedy movie, "Jackie", a favourite for the Oscars -- it won three nominations announced Tuesday -- it was inevitable there would also be a nod to one of Chanel's greatest customers.

Lagerfeld opened with a line of classic Chanel suit silhouettes that are forever linked with the former US First Lady.

However, he subtly undercut the cliche with one boucle suit with daring cutaways and lots of glitter woven into the tweed, while others had kind of cow bell waists.

The 1950s made an appearance too with one stand-out crystal-incrusted tent skirt topped with pistachio tulle and others bringing rival Dior's postwar "New Look" to mind.

Among the glitterati seated on front row sofas -- the B- and C-listers had to content themselves with soft white wool benches -- was the Korean rapper G-Dragon in a glittering Chanel beret and earwarmers.

French designer Alexis Mabille also went to Hollywood classics for his ideas, taking "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" as his mark along with its stand-out song, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend".

"A tiara lasts forever..." the song says, and his show was not short on them, with his colourful veiled brides all seemingly trying to get a millionaire to the altar.