Chanel, Spring/Summer '09 (scroll down to read more)
A Chanel show is one of the most spectacular of the schedule, not least for the sets (this time a full sized replica of 31 Rue Cambon recreated under the dome of the Grand Palais, complete with a doorman to open the door so models could exit the boutique and pace the motorway-wide runway).
Theatre aside this was a stellar show full to bursting with merchandise that is going to have Chanel fans queuing up at the tills, credit crunch or not. That is because up close, which is what the customer sees, its tough to beat.
There is, it seems, nothing that Karl Lagerfeld can not do to keep refreshing the Chanel tweed. Blown up in scale, manipulated into kinks, made of torn tulle and strings of pearls, or coated with a cross between rubber and patent that appears like an open weave of glossy sequins or graphic paint strokes, its always a new play on the classic.
Practically every fabric or technique has been produced exclusively for the house, which makes it impossible for anyone to imitate (if they dare). Lagerfeld always makes it modern and gives it an edge, mixing the noble with the novel (patent paint, transparent PVC camellias, acrylic inserts in the classic leather Chanel sac), even producing a barbed wire trim for the classic suit, embroidered by Lesage.