Karl Lagerfeld and Florence Welch
The Grand Palais was transformed by huge, blinding white sea shapes—corals, shells, sea horses, stingrays—and Florence Welch arose like Botticelli's Venus on the half shell to sing "What the Water Gave Me." It was a bravura performance all around.
Lagerfeld's aim was nothing too "Chanel" because, he sagely noted, there are already so many other people doing that style. Still, he insisted on something that was recognizably within the codes of the house. So there were boxy tweeds, drop waists, mille-feuille pleats, and an ocean of prettiness for the fans. It was enthralling to watch the way he insinuated his underwater theme into this traditional Chanel lexicon. The ruffles on one dress looked like sea sponges, the iridescent streamers flying from another like seaweed. It wasn't always successful—one of Stella Tennant's outfits sprouted unfortunate seaweed panniers—but how many other designers are there who are prepared to take such risks after six decades in the business? Strike that. Who has this much energy and creativity at any age?