It’s no secret that Karl Lagerfeld is a fan of Metropolis, a German Expressionist science-fiction silent movie filmed in 1927. Last year for the February issue of Vogue Germany Lagerfeld shot a stunning editorial called “Return to Metropolis.” It’s also been said the he recently purchased a set of film stills signed by Fritz Lang, the film’s director to Brigitte Helm, the young actress who starred in the film. So, it would only seem natural to see a bit of Metropolis seeping into the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2011/2012 collection.
Metropolis is the most expensive silent film ever made – adjusted for inflation it cost about $200 million. The film is about a futuristic dystopica and explores the relationship between groups in society (simplisticly speaking thinkers v. workers). In the midst of all this we have a “mad scientist” of sorts who has created a robot woman. (I apologize there’s really more to the story but I’m trying to be brief).
So where do we see Metropolis in the Chanel Fall 2011 couture collection? Karl is rarely, if ever, inspired by just one thing so we see little hints here and there. First, the film was released in 1927, when Coco Chanel was riding her shooting star of a career and many of the clothing styles in the couture show were inspired by the 1920s and 1930s. The futuristic feel of Coco Vendôme lit up at night in lights and the models’ LED light shoes felt futuristic. And the robotic Coco atop the central columns perhaps an homage to the robot in Metropolis? We’ll never know for sure, but what I do know, is that Karl Lagerfeld likes to keep us guessing. He gives us enough to come up with our theories but he’s always full of surprises.