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Tue 20 May 2014 02:05 PM

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Five minutes with: Karl Lagerfeld

The legendary German fashion designer chats about the latest Chanel extravaganza in Dubai

Five minutes with: Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld meets Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Group

Last week, in a desert fashion spectacle, Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his 2014/15 Cruise Collection in Dubai.

In pure Arabic spirit, decorated with emblematic mashrabiyas complete with the iconic double C logo, a vast sand-coloured building was built especially by the House of Chanel for the event.

At sunset, facing the Dubai skyline, Karl Lagerfeld presented a timeless journey to the place where East meets West.

Karl Lagerfeld associates the emblematic palette of Chanel – white, black and beige – with fuchsia, midnight blue and carmine red. Lightweight tweed, silk chiffon, linen, gold lamé and cotton voile, all light fabrics playing with transparency and layering.

Watches and pieces of fine jewellery enhance the looks and are combined with costume jewellery, just as Mademoiselle Chanel herself liked to do. The silhouette is slender, sheer and contemporary.

“Dubai is the world of tomorrow,” says Lagerfeld. “It’s my idea of an idealised East, an East that is for everybody. There’s nothing folkloric. The influences are multiple, from fairy tales to film, from the paintings of Delacroix to the 1914 creations of Paul Poiret.”

What was your inspiration behind the prints you used in Chanel’s 2014/2015 Cruise Collection?

The prints I did are inspired by tiles from the 12th and 11th century in Spain when it was Arabian and in North Africa. It is unbelievable how modern those flower patterns look nearly a thousand years later.

It is a modern and flexible version of Chanel. It is Chanel of the 21st century in a modern part of the world. It is a mix of the old world and the new world, and this I think is interesting and exciting.

Why Dubai?

Don’t forget that we are in the place with the highest building in the world. It started in Europe with the cathedrals and the Eiffel Tower, and then it went to America and now it’s here.

I think it’s time for an Oriental revival because the Orient is becoming more and more important in the history of the 21st century. I took from the oriental fashion what I think is sexy and timeless and made a modern look for women all over the world.

What is the most important message to take out of this collection?

The quality and the design and what we do in knit would have been impossible even three or four years ago. Now we go up to 150 colours in one piece. This is very Chanel. It is her (Coco Chanel) idea that jewellery, as long as it’s well done and designed beautifully, it does not have to be real. That’s why I asked the people from the jewellery to come here and mix with the custom jewellery.

Click here to view images of the collection when it was unveiled in Dubai

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