While the rest of the world suffers from the economic downturn, Karl Lagerfeld appeared to spare no expense for the latest Chanel extravaganza. The Grand Palais in Paris was transformed into an Indian-themed dinner party for the Chanel Metiers d'Art show yesterday.
Guests sat at banquet tables, which doubled as a runway, complete with chandeliers, opulent candle-sticks - and a feast fit for a king.
They dined using gold-plated cutlery and were served by waiters throughout the show - a far cry from the champagne and canapes usually served. But the event was tinged with a touch of sadness as couturier Francois Lesage, head of the renowned embroidery atelier acquired by Chanel in 2002, died last week, aged 83.
Models, adorned with accessories including head-jewellery and turbans - also for men - walked the epic runway sporting the 2012 pre-fall collection. Creative director Lagerfeld often looks abroad for inspiration. Previous shows have been named Paris-Byzance, Paris-Shanghai and Paris-Moscow.
This time, stunning embroidered fabrics featured embellishments teamed with the usual Chanel trademarks such as tweed and pearls. Models wore ethnic-inspired sandals made of leather.
Stella Tennant, who was voted model of the year at the British Fashion Awards recently, was the star of the show as she accompanied the designer down the runway.
And there is no break for Karl, who is so obsessed with his work, he doesn't even plan on taking time off for Christmas. The designer told Style.com: 'Everyone I know is leaving [Paris], but I stay home because it's the only moment I can work on the Couture quietly, sketch, and take care of my books and houses - all the things I never have time to do the rest of the year. 'For me the ultimate luxury is to be alone, to have time for myself, not look at my watch, and do whatever I want, whenever I want.'
Grand Finale: British model Stella Tennant accompanies designer Karl Lagerfeld to mark the end of the show
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