Chanel Métiers d’Art Pre-Collection Fall/Winter 2018-2019 fashion show, held last night in Germany’s northern city of Hamburg, unveiled a stunning collection in the breathtakingly beautiful Elbphilharmonie concert hall positioned on the peninsula of the Elbe river. Karl Lagerfeld orchestrated a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, presenting a collection that exudes elegance, emotion, subtlety and a hidden fear that the Kaiser of fashion might be stepping down.
Each December, Karl Lagerfeld presents a special new collection inspired by a city that is linked to the past or present of the fashion house. This is the sixteenth time Lagerfeld honored the fine craftsmanship that Chanel’s artisan partners bring to the collections— craftsman houses like Maison Michel, Goossens and Lesage. Outside the traditional fashion schedule, Chanel turns to different locations to pay tribute to their worldwide partners. Previous shows have been held in different cities— Dallas, Rome, Edinburgh and Mumbai, to name a few— and this year Lagerfeld chose a location close to his heart, his beloved hometown. Inspired by Hamburg’s Port, nautical universe and the swinging 1960’s, he used classical music and incredible clothes to paint a picture of sailors and their loved ones waiting by the shore with dancing shoes on, combining exacting standards with bold innovation. Leave it to Karl to design a 70-piece collection that serves as a time machine to Hamburg’s vivid past.
German model Anna Ewers opened the show and models walked through the different spaces and levels in the building, from the balconies to the stalls. One of the stand-out pieces was the elbesegler: a cap preferred by Hamburger seafarers, luxuriously revisited. Seafaring looks, quintessential accordion bags, sailor pants and heavy knitted sweaters demonstrated a whole new look for Chanel— a daring combination of Coco Chanel and Corto Maltese. The emblematic collection brings a colorful mixture of textures and dimensions. Abundant in embroidery and exceptional applique, stunning pieces came in signature tweed, refreshed with low berets, striped dresses, feathery detailing, and over-the-knee knitted leg warmers.
The sad news is that this might be Lagerfeld’s final collection. As one of the Chanel sources implied, the 83-year-old designer “is not doing well”. His finale walk in Hamburg appeared to be somewhat unstable; a runway walk through which he limped distinctly and held tight to his godson Hudson Kroenig‘s hand. “You can feel the winding down in-house”, the source told Town & Country, “it definitely feels like an era is coming to an end”. 65 years after he left to study in Paris, Lagerfeld finally came back home. This time, maybe for good.
Check out every outfit from the runway in the gallery below.
Photo credit: Vogue Paris