Ever wonder what Keira Knightley and Rihanna do when they just want to go to the grocery store like average people?
They go to Karl Lagerfeld’s luxury Chanel supermarket, of course.
Tuesday saw the fashion showman put on a “Chanel Shopping Centre” fall-winter show that featured an audacious Walmart-sized reconstruction and saw the celebrity pair applaud vigorously from the front row. They clearly didn’t seem to mind sitting near the canned goods food section.
However, events took a nose dive after the show when the rowdy fashion crowd looted the set.
Here are the highlights of this and Tuesday’s other incredible ready-to-wear shows in Paris.
Chanel’s supermarket is so luxury it gets looted
The attention to detail was astounding.
An entire supermarket had been reconstructed across several hundred square metres of Paris’ Grand Palais.
Guests stared in disbelief at shelves bursting with consumable products especially made for this show: bottles of “Tweed cola,” wine branded “Maison Gabrielle,” and even grilled bread stamped “CC.”
This was clearly a fall-winter show like no other.
Chanel trolleys at the side led on to a tall pile of coconuts next to writing “One for the price of two,” a fresh fruits and veg section, and large signs advertising Chanel’s latest special offers. Instead of discounts they read “50 per cent markup.”
“Luxury should be worn like you’re going to the supermarket. It’s the pop art of the 21st century,” said the couturier in high spirits.
At the very least, it’s proof that Lagerfeld is fashion’s greatest showman.
Though the set was a universal hit, perhaps Monsieur Lagerfeld later had one regret: telling revellers they could help themselves to the produce.
It triggered a stealing-frenzy, with security guards having to swoop in as revellers stripped the shelves. At the exit, fashionistas’ bags were actually searched to remove stolen goods. One fashion editor succeeded in making off with a Chanel doormat.
Pirates of the Caribbean star Keira Knightley — in a monochrome Chanel dress with tiny waist — rocked the front row alongside her husband, Klaxons singer James Righton whom she married last year.
They entered a cordoned-off area after the show alongside superstar Rihanna near some Chanel cooking oil.
It triggered a media frenzy with a worried Knightley saying, “I think there’s a fight breaking out.”
Her husband, who watched from the sidelines, seemed puzzled by the luxury supermarket concept. “It’s my first Chanel show. It was fairly mad. Is this normal?”
Yes, at least in Lagerfeld’s world it is.
Just like a supermarket, Lagerfeld produced a collection that was so varied there was choice for everyone.
With attention given to large rounded shoulders, exaggerated upper torsos, cinched or exposed midriffs and lashings of tweed, Lagerfeld mixed and matched.
Stylish brown tweed was turned into a jumpsuit — with voluminous pockets on the bust and great 80s turn ups.
A section that seemed to channel the designs of artist Vassily Kandinsky provided bursts of colour on driving coats and a pair of bold blue and green leggings. It looked very young, but Lagerfeld quipped after the show: “Never young enough for today’s standard. The older the (women) are, the younger they want to look!”
For the fun factor, models carried large leather and silver-bound Chanel shopping baskets as they theatrically browsed the catwalk shelving.
If the show seemed to lack the focus of Lagerfeld’s best shows, some fantastic single garments made up for it. One black three-quarter length coat had a lovely fluidity with delicate diagonal ribs.
Alexander Mcqueen’s little bo peep has lost her werewolf
Sarah Burton produced a cryptic but accomplished show for Alexander McQueen set on an emotive green heath.
A-line skirts in broderie anglaise, large white rounded collars, thigh-high lace up boots and tulle embellishments pointed to an 18th century vibe.
Then, the patches of long black and white fur and animal eyebrows at times looked like Burton was going for a werewolf vibe.
Was she channelling the beginnings of British Gothic horror writing that started in the late 18th century?
Rihanna not incognito at Stella McCartney
Try as she might to be discreet — enveloped in a green-brown Stella McCartney hooded coat with huge peaked retro shades — Rihanna just had no luck. Within seconds of her arrival Monday, her star-power magnetism drew in the paparazzi, who followed her backstage where she hobnobbed with British model of the moment Cara Delevigne.
A radiant McCartney, meanwhile, hugged the pop star and exclaimed: “She is amazing.”
McCartney’s show brimmed with ideas and plays on utilitarian features.
Zippers featured as abstract embroidery all over coats and suits that glistened like ripples of water. This sporty theme — a McCartney signature — was seen again as mountaineering cords were used as embroidered motifs on storm gray tweeds.
Menswear pants sported stirrups — elastic bands wrapped under platform shoes — hybrids of an office shoe mixed with a sneaker in red, black, beige, gold and a beautiful pale blue.
Apart from a spattering of tie-dye looks that appeared a bit washed out, it was a great collection.
Only such a classy designer as McCartney can channel a sporty, outdoorsy and menswear muse and still produce a feminine show.
Valentino’s answer to the swinging sixties
Valentino‘s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli gave their diaphanous, and slightly puritanical designs, an injection of 1960s and Pop Art.
Though the design duo they didn’t pay attention to the menswear vibe sweeping fall-winter shows so far — and people don’t expect uber-feminine Valentino to, either — this show definitely felt more “trendy” than in previous seasons.
The best look was a shimmering silk purple, silver and pewter baby-doll dress with black colour. And some of the harlequin looks were eye-catching, though sometimes a little busy.
It was the couture-infused gowns they did best — after all, couture is almost synonymous with the house.
Fastidiously embroidered butterflies gave a beautiful lift to a sexy sheer tulle cocktail gown and continued with a bird motif on another in deep blue.
Giambattista Valli perfumes the air, not the clothes
Sweet rose perfume wafted through the air.
But Giambattista Valli’s fall-winter show itself turned away from the saccharine, feminine styles that have graced recent seasons – and the collection was all the better for it.
The first looks were the strongest, a series of complex black-and-white mottled gowns with A-line skirts. They showcased great textural play with optical patterns that at times resembled the markings of a butterfly, alongside exaggerated proportions. (The butterfly effect is an on-trend style also seen at the Celine and Chloe shows.)
The show’s flower prints weren’t that new or inspiring, but Valli perfected a beautiful new silhouette of open fabric swirls at the hip.
Elie Saab goes dark after Angelina Jolie coup
After the red carpet coup of dressing Angelina Jolie for the Academy Awards in a gray embellished couture tulle gown, Lebanese designer Elie Saab should have been in high spirits.
However his fall-winter show sported a dark mood, in colours at least.
Rich dark merlot and emerald came along slim cinched-waisted gowns, sometimes in a vintage-looking degrade and other times in business suits.
The staple, frothily-effervescent light silks were replaced by their darker, sexier sister in black, with small flashes of colour provided by flower prints. The designer packs no surprises but remains hugely popular.
Iris Van Herpen’s shock tactics
The human body was in focus at Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen’s sublime debut catwalk show on the ready-to-wear calendar.
Van Herpen likes to shock.
In this show the shock-factor saw three models writhing in suspended square plastic bags that had the oxygen sucked out.
It disturbed several guests as it looked as if the models were in discomfort or couldn’t breathe.
In the clothes, embroidered beads on mini sheaths resembled shining human cells on models in jutting boots without heels. While some beautifully executed techno-fabric, silver, cocktail dresses glistened like organic fluid.
Several looks also seemed to turn the body inside out: black and white chubby fur tops had the top slashed off to reveal flaps of fabric like exposed flesh.
The collection perfectly towed the line between surreal artistry and wearability, but next time Van Herpen shouldn’t try to frighten guests.
Marianne Faithfull blasts reporter
After being squashed on the front row as journalists tried to get near Rihanna, Seventies British singing icon Marianne Faithfull got annoyed. She blasted a reporter for asking the Diamonds singer, sitting four seats down, a question about 12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Faithfull, 66, who first found fame as Mick Jagger’s girlfriend in the 60s, attended the Paris show to support longtime friend McCartney.
She overheard the Oscars question for Rihanna and interrupted grumpily: “That’s a ridiculous question… Get a new job!”
To which the journalist replied: “What’s your job?”
End of an era as Suzy Menkes quits newspapers
She’s the doyenne of fashion, instantly recognisable. And now newspaper critic Suzy Menkes, 70, is ending her 25-year reign as fashion editor for the International Herald Tribune (now the International New York Times).
“I’m going to Conde Nast,” she said, saying she’s excited to move on from papers. “I’m especially thrilled to be online … but I’ve had a wonderful career in print.”
When asked if she thought that the time was up for newspapers, which have experienced a steady decline in sales worldwide with the rise of online news, she replied: “No, of course not!”
Menkes’ new post will be International Editor for Vogue magazine, across all countries except the US.