Another season, another Chanel show, another Karl Lagerfeld masterpiece. With the release of Chanel’s Spring 2013 Haute Couture collection in mind, everyone was interested to see what world Chanel’s artistic director and visionary Karl Lagerfeld would create for the latest show. Lagerfeld is revisiting Paris’ Grand Palais, after his previous transformations: a surreal Alice in Wonderland–inspired tea-time feast, and a wintry Antarctic landscape, complete with glacier. This time around, the theatre was transformed into a forest wonderland. “I saw it in my dream, put it on my paper, gave it to the man that builds my set, and I think he worked it out beautifully,” Lagerfeld says.
With the sound of chirping birds and surrounded by a pine tree forest, this season’s models walked a sandy runway. Trees towered above them, lending a greenhouse feel to the grand theatre. “This is not a usual runway situation, one after the other, in a kind of military speed,” Lagerfeld noted. “This was a more romantic catwalk.” Throwing away the more traditional linear catwalk, the designer created a more organic space for the models to walk. Using a wood fencing to wrap the circular runway, the forest aesthetic is enhanced while ensuring the separation between the bustling backstage and the show’s front-of-house dramatics.