Though calling anything 'cool' nowadays is something of a death knell in the style stakes, there aren't any other adjectives that fully do justice to Chanel's A/W 2010 show.
The spectacle, which took place at the Grand Palais this morning, was housed in a hermetically sealed 'glacier' box in subzero temperatures, constructed to resemble a slice of the Arctic Circle in the middle of Paris.
Last season when Karl Lagerfeld commissioned a farmhouse for the catwalk the fashion critics spoke of Chanel's new eco collection and it's likely many will assume Lagerfeld is making another big eco statement – this time about global warming. We're more of the opinion though that the man just knows how to put on a show - the biggest and boldest of the season that is - and luckily Chanel have the resources to turn his dreams into reality.
Inside the 5,300-metre squared box, the runway was painted with a trompe l'oeil effect, giving the impression of deep, glacial ice underneath. This was topped with a shallow layer of water. Chanel had also hired 35 ice sculptors who, over the course of 6 days, hewed 240 tonnes of 'snice' (frozen snow-ice, if you're unfamiliar with the term) into a dramatic icescape, reaching 8.5 metres at its highest point. Models donned special transparent Chanel galoshes to wade through the watery catwalk and pace around the Iceberg.
Despite a far from Spring-like temperature on the streets of Paris, Chanel's spectacle was as impressive and fitting a showcase for an Autumn Winter collection as possible to imagine, short of shipping the whole show to the ailing icebergs of Antarctica themselves. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Lagerfeld though is that he doesn't just know how to stage a hell of a show – first and foremost he delivers a consistently strong collection – production is merely the tip of the iceberg…
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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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