If anyone can draw a crowd on a particularly freezing cold December night in NYC, it would be Chanel. And we’re not just talking any old rent-a-crowd, either. Bedecked in their tweed and pearl-strewn finery, the (very) well-heeled of the fashion and celebrity world climbed their way to the top of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s imposing stone staircase, heading inside after-hours to witness the French behemoth’s latest Métiers d’Art collection, showcased around the edges of The Temple of Dendur. Quite the spectacle. But then, this is Chanel, a house known as much for its outlandishly theatrical sets (rocket ship, anyone?) as its unparalleled savoir-faire.
If the Ancient Egyptian ruins (dating from 10 BC, to be specific) were to be the backdrop, then Karl Lagerfeld slipped into the role of governor without pause. Duly, as is tradition, his devotees flocked to pay their respects at both temples; one a gift to Manhattan from Egypt, and one a gift to the world from Paris.
And Paris was certainly present in spades on the Upper East Side; the first time a fashion show has graced the hallowed wings of The Met in 30 years.
Almost by order of decree, the celebrities came. Perhaps most prominently of these was Pharrell; longtime friend of the house and resplendant on the catwalk in liquid-gold leather, a longline metallic knit and a bejewelled, outsize plastron collar; a modern-day Pharaoh if ever we saw one.
He explained, “The collection is hard to put in words, only because it was an original pairing of different inspirations. Mainly Egyptian, but you saw a lot of the Coco Chanel taste palette of hers.” Something we’re sure he’s more than a little familiar with now that his personal collaboration with the house has been announced. We wait with baited breath.
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Chanel’s Metiers D’art collection was the first show at The Met in 30 years, and a lamé-strewn, glittering ode to Egypt (by way of ‘80s NYC, obvs). Like if you spot @pharrell walking amongst the relics... * * * * * * * * #chanel #chanelinnyc #chanelmetiersdart #nyc #luxury #catwalk #fashionshow #chanelshow
Elsewhere, on the FROW sat a coterie of A-listers the likes of which only Chanel can command; Blake Lively in Haute-Couture sequins, Margot Robbie in black tulle from SS19, Marion Cotillard in a modern take on the classic Chanel skirt suit, and Diane Kruger in floor-length black chiffon.
They rubbed Chanel-draped shoulders with Helena Christensen, Lily-Rose Depp, Christy Turlington, Sofia Coppola, Julianne Moore and Janelle Monáe, who had twisted a Chanel-stamped ribbon into her waist-length braid and finished off her ensemble with a beret.
“The knit sweaters with the hieroglyphics and the Chanel symbol interwoven… it was so cool,” Margot Robbie explained of the witty hieroglyph-graffiti hybrid designed by street artist Cyril Kongo that had punctuated the collection.
Penélope Cruz, whose face had graced Manhattan in a series of Chanel adverts in the run-up to the show, gave her verdict, “Very rock’n’roll, very cool, very modern.”
“You never, ever forget that you’re seeing things that have been made by hand,” Julianne Moore enthused post-show, highlighting what is, at its core, the real magic of Métiers d’Art.
“Egyptian civilisation has always fascinated me: I get inspired by an idea, which I make a reality,” Karl explained of his latest creations. A dream turned real. And where better to do that than in New York?
Photos: Courtesy of Chanel