(NEW YORK) Karl Lagerfeld took the Chanel Pre-Fall show back to its retail roots by staging its runway show in Dallas this season. The iconic Parisian brand has a storied history with the city dating back to 1957, when Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus gave a big Southern welcome to Coco Chanel’s 1954 comeback collection, even as Parisians scoffed at the wares. The collection marked a return to fashion for the designer after a 15-year hiatus following WWII. Lagerfeld directed a biopic entitled The Return about Coco’s difficult rentrée to an industry which she’d once reigned over. In 1957, Neiman Marcus awarded Chanel with the Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion Award to welcome her return. This year, things came full circle when the luxury retail giant awarded Lagerfeld with the very same award 56 years later.
To celebrate, Lagerfeld held his latest Métiers d’Art show called “Back to Dallas” in Dallas’ Fair Park. Lagerfeld built a drive-in movie theater filled with 74 custom vintage cars, which doubled as seating for the guests (including new Chanel campaign star Kristen Stewart plus Dakota Fanning, Lauren Hutton, and Lily Collins). What ensued was a full dose of Americana, brimming with Southwestern attire that pulled inspiration from cowboys and Indians. That meant plenty of denim, Navajo print knits, fringe, prairie skirts, cowboy hats, Western ties à la Colonel Sanders, and even a floor-length white feathered headdress and a fully Pocahontas-inflected look. Despite the strong currents of Americana, each piece had a touch of that classic Chanel treatment.
A big shindig was held post-show that included a full saloon and mechanical bull as well as a performance by Brit electro-pop band Hot Chip. Perhaps country music was pushing it a bit for the Parisian designer, non? Dallas is known for doing things big—leave it to the Kaiser to put on a show of Texas-sized proportions.