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Chanel’s Fake Fur Ice Maidens

Godfrey Deeny
March 09th, 2010 @ 2:22 PM - Paris

One season after staging a Chanel runway show in a reconstructed Normandy farm, the house’s designer Karl Lagerfeld presented his latest collection Tuesday, March 9, in Paris in the midst of a custom-built iceberg, literally imported from Scandinavia.

The resulting set, where the models walked on icy blue water through ice arches inside Paris’ Grand Palais was an exceptional piece of staging. When first revealed - by winching a giant white thermal case 80 feet up towards the building's massive glass roof – the set caused the audience of 2,000 to gasp in admiration.

Chanel hired 30 workers to truck down some 300 tons of ice from Sweden, in the latest example of this house’s free-spending professionalism.

“Global warming is the issue of our times. Fashion has to address it,” said Lagerfeld, his jean bottoms soaked from walking on an icy blue “sea” around the iceberg, meant to symbolize the ice caps melting.

On the catwalk, practically every model sported some element of fur, beginning with two dashing couples who looked like wild Siberian polar explorers. Yet, while the intrepid voyagers, they also looked stunningly beautiful, Freja Beha in a leather bomber jacket with huge white faux fox trim and Australian model Abbey Lee in a head-to-toe patchwork polar bear mix. Lagerfeld will use both models in Chanel’s next ready-to-wear campaign.

Fur formed the fox trim on wool boucle suits and classic Chanel beige and brown shoes, as wolf handbags with interlocking CC logo or completely covering rugged boots. However on closer inspection, it turned out not one pelt was actually real.

“The whole thing was fake, every bit of fur. But that seems right for the times,” explained Lagerfeld, himself dressed head to toe in Christian Dior Homme.

Other great “fake” looks included sable fur hot pants, ice-blue and white mohair mini cocktails, ice crystal rings and brooches and great white logo boots, with plastic court shoe bottoms, the better to walk across the “polar sea,” in this remarkable fashion event.

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