A Royal Casino for Chanel Haute Couture


Numero revisits Chanel’s fall-winter 2015/2016 Haute Couture show and the Art Deco casino of its fantastical décor.

With each Chanel collection, each show and each product that Karl Lagerfeld creates, a dialogue arises between the founding myths of the maison and the present day. Conceived for the 21st century, the staggering custom-made decors (airplane, Parisian street-protest, supermarket, etc.) never fail to bring Instagram to its knees. This season was no exception. The celluloid apparitions of green felted tables strewn with actresses like Julianne Moore, Kristin Stewart and Vanessa Paradis, flickered with something between Martin Scorsese’s Casino and a James Bond Casino Royale. 

In order to charm the present day spectator, Karl Lagerfeld raised the phantom of an Art Deco casino (one thinks instinctively of Gabrielle’s ties to Deauville, whose 1912-constructed casino remains a strong pole of attraction and leisure for the seaside town). The elongated contours of the dresses echoed the décor, while reimagined garconne wigs crowned the models in contemporary plunging bobs.


Karl Lagerfeld managed once again, and with brio, to rewrite the Chanel code, presenting it in an entirely new light. The quilted suits on display were the fruits of a specialised technology: selective laser sintering, which applies a high-intensity laser beam to powdered materials, fashioning solid forms described via the projected points of a 3D model. Tweed appeared in all its guises, the suits equipped with military epaulettes, jackets shortened into cropped cloaks…


Transported by the models’ rhythmical ballet one could almost have forgotten Isabelle Huppert, Rita Ora, Rinko Kikuchi, Stella Tennant: before the show had begun, those stars in Chanel’s orbit made their entry in custom-made outfits, before taking their places at the games tables. The fantasy, walking arm-in-arm with reality.


By Delphine Roche