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A Drive-In Movie, Mechanical Bull, and Lots of Fringe: An Inside Look at Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Fashion Show in Dallas

Chanel's Dallas fashion show made for a packed evening of entertainment with a side of kitsch.
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Chanel Dallas
Adré Leon Talley, Anna Wintour, and Karl Lagerfeld cozy up before the premiere (photography by Jeanne Prejean)
Chanel Dallas
André Leon Talley, Anna Wintour, and Karl Lagerfeld cozy up before the premiere (photography by Jeanne Prejean)

Nearly 1,000 guests showed up for Chanel’s pre-fall 2014 show at Dallas’ historic Fair Park. Attendees included celebrities Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Lily Collins, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley, Marie Claire’s Nina Garcia, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing and Karen Katz, supermodel Erin Wasson, Alexa Chung, Russian fashion darlings Nasiba Adilova and Miroslava Duma, Brian Bolke of Forty Five Ten, Jackie Bolin of V.O.D., and Jane Aldridge from Sea of Shoes. Much of Dallas’ best-known society was there in all their glitz, glam, and furs: Maxwell and Jacqueline Anderson, Gene Jones, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky, Nancy and Richard Rogers, Anna-Sophia van Zweden, Jessica Nowitzki, Niven Morgan, Elaine Agather, Heidi Dillon, Heather and Ray Washburne, Brooke Hortenstine, and more. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld was surrounded by a constant swarm of people with iPhones snapping pictures, naturally.

Chanel Dallas
Vintage cars as movie theater seats (photography by Jeanne Prejean)

Upon arrival, Chanel invited guests into a tent morphed into a 1950s drive-in movie theater. (Each lady was escorted by a male model in a puffy coat.) Waiters walked around with cherry vodka drinks in styrofoam cups, popcorn, soft pretzels, and retro candies. Equally as breathtaking as the clothing that would soon be debuted were the rows of vintage cars, beautifully restored and glossy. Attendees were tucked into the cars and on rows of bleachers to watch the premiere of Karl Lagerfeld’s film, The Return, starring Geraldine Chaplin, who played a brilliant Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1954, when the fashion designer reopened her couture house to not-so-positive French response but the open arms of the United States. Especially, Dallas.

Chanel Dallas
The barn-inspired fashion show venue (photography by Jeanne Prejean)

Guests were then ushered into a second Fair Park hall for the fashion show. A hay-strewn floor supported wooden stadium seating under a chandelier of American and Texas flags. Down the runway went a glammed-up, Western, cowboy-and-indian theme starring fringe upon fringe upon more fringe. Tiered purple fringe, layers of leather fringe, ponchos with fringe. Tribal patterned sweaters, fabrics covered  in stars, metallic leathers, head-to-toe denim, and slouchy boots. Models wore hats adorned with feathers, messy ponytails pulled back with hair shaped into bows, and cheekbones highlighted in gold. The final look was topped with a floor-length white feather headdress.

Chanel Dallas
Models adorned in fringe, stars, and feathers (photography by Jeanne Prejean)

Notable quotes from notable guests on the show:
“It’s like Ralph [Lauren] and Karl were dating.”
“I thought the fashion show was too kitschy. Dallas is beyond that.”
“It’s like Lewis and Clark,” one girl quipped. “Or the Fourth of July,” her friend said.

Kitschy? Sure. A bit. But each look was staggeringly beautiful.

Lily Collins in Chanel atop the mechanical bull
Lily Collins in Chanel atop the mechanical bull (photography by Jeanne Prejean)

The final stop was a constructed saloon complete with a mechanical bull. Texas country tunes kicked off the entertainment but was followed up by British band Hot Chip. The air was filled with the smell of fried things, barbecue, and tacos, and partygoers mixed, mingled, and drank a lot of champagne before hitting an unofficial after-party at the Round-Up Saloon.

See more photos here

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