Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 11/17/2014

The world was created in seven days—the world of Chanel, that is.

That’s how long it took to build the “Paris Boulevard” that Karl Lagerfeld dreamed up and commissioned for the house’s spring show.

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The imposing 374-foot-long set was arguably the chicest of Paris streets this season, traversed by some of the world’s top models in one of France’s grandest labels. The building facades soared more than 80 feet into the domed expanse of the Grand Palais.

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The set was realized employing photos of real buildings shot here and there around the city. A computer program straightened them up and realigned them. Then the scenes were printed on canvas using ink-jet technology; the canvas was applied to wooden frames and assembled. The same process was used for the balconies, adding a 3-D effect.

Lagerfeld pushed realism to add pavement, curbs, sidewalks and even puddles.

No stranger to big-budget productions, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann was nonetheless blown away by the set.

“Karl’s got bigger budgets than I have,” said the director of The Great Gatsby. “These are like operas to me. They’re like true theatrical experiences—the clothes aren’t secondary to the production, but they are productions, and quite large-scale ones.”


A few stats:
■    Height: 25 meters/82 feet
■    Length: 114 meters/374 feet
■    Width without sidewalk: 6 meters/20 feet
■    Width with sidewalks: 8 meters/26 feet
■    Wooden frames: 600
■    Days to put together: Seven.

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