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Chanel’s Métiers d'Art at the Elbphilharmonie

Karl Lagerfeld and the fashion house Chanel proved that the Grand Hall also works as a catwalk in a successful runway show.

World-famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld staged a fluidly choreographed Chanel »Métiers d’Art« runway show at the Elbphilharmonie on 6 December. Since 2002, Chanel pays tribute each year to the fine craftsmanship of the some dozen ateliers that work together with the high fashion house for its collections.

Never before has such a runway show taken place in Germany. Hamburg is the birthplace of Karl Lagerfeld, but the Elbphilharmonie was ultimately the decisive factor for him to present the Chanel »Métiers d’Art« in the city.

Métiers d'Art

First Time in Germany

With a défilé of 76 female and 5 male models, Karl Lagerfeld presented 87 looks specially created for the occasion. The never-seen-before masterpieces incorporated hanseatic flair into the eternal Chanel allure. Karl Lagerfeld firstly revisited the sailors’ wardrobe, re-appropriating their pea coats, drop-front trousers, striped tops and immutable caps, sometimes veiled with a tulle scarf. Woven patterns draw inspiration from the bricks of buildings that surround the docks in the port and the stacks of multicoloured containers that arrive by cargo ship, while Chanel’s iconic tweed suit was embellished with a sailor collar knotted with a regatta scarf.

Fashion with Hanseatic Flair

Then the outfits became lighter with beautiful sophisticated evening dresses and wide, shimmering trousers in autumn colours – some garments glittered like a firework frozen in time.

Sailors’ Songs of Longing

The music came from the stage, played by Ensemble Resonanz, the resident ensemble of the Elbphilharmonie, under the direction of Oliver Coates.

The eclectic programme was framed by »La Paloma«, the universal song of longing for sailors par excellence.

Craftsmanship and Class

The location and the occasion perfectly complemented each other: the excellence with which the predominantly Paris-based artisan partners such as Lesage and Montex (embroidery), Desrues (buttons and costume jewellery), Lemarié (feather and flower creations) and Massaro (shoemaking) work for the couturier is in blissful harmony with the meticulous craftsmanship and class that characterises the design of the Elbphilharmonie – from the façade and the »White Skin« to the handmade spherical lamps in the Grand Hall and foyer.

And the artistic quality of Chanel’s designs is as relentless as the musical programme of the Elbphilharmonie. For both, only the best is good enough.

World's Longest Catwalk

The catwalk from the 16th floor down to the stage is likely one of the longest in the history of fashion shows: each of the models walked for about 4 minutes and 45 seconds through the Grand Hall.

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