Karl Lagerfeld likes to bounce from one extreme to the next. His last show, couture, celebrated les petites mains; the couture seamstresses who painstakingly hand-sew every sublime stitch on every fairytale gown and boucle suit. While models sauntered around, he showed them all at work, in the background beavering away on toiles and patterns. It was a window into the true artisanal, the very thing that makes Chanel unique and desired.
This morning’s show, staged at the Grand Palais, was a giant leap into the future. Tech heads delight; show-goers were invited into Chanel’s data centre, a runway bordered with towering servers blinking in lights and loaded with colourful cabling and wires hooked up to heaven knows what – Chanel’s computer brain? Donna Summer’s I Feel Love blasted out and out came the first exit: a robot in a white lacquer full-face helmet, gloves and boots dressed in the chicest ivory tweed skirt suit. It could have been Gisele, as someone quipped, another robot came in a black version of the same suit.