One of the many perks of being a journalist in Paris is the occasional invitation you receive to fantastically over-the-top fashion shows.
It's Fashion Week here in Paris. The astute among you may in fact wonder if it is never NOT fashion week in Paris ... but this week is when the fashion press, the buyers and the international celebs keen for a free frock flock to the City of Light to sashay around the city for a couple of days and hope the paparrazzi notice them.
You can usually tell how fundamentally groovy a designer is by their choice of venue. From my several years experience attending fashion week shows here in Paris, I have learned that if you are a designer, there is a sliding scale of grooviness that is inversely proportional to the grottiness/obscurity/inaccessability of the venue you choose.
I once attended a Vuitton show in the run-down concrete shell of what used to be a municipal swimming pool. I've otherwise sat through shows in former convents, drafty market halls and museum basements.
Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld then - the grand-daddy of Paris fashion - to do his show in style. Along with 500 other carefully-selected chosen ones, I trooped on down to the Grand Palais on Tuesday to take my place in the audience for the Chanel ready-to-wear autumn winter collection.
Now, I don't know much about clothes, but it looks to me like the man knows what he is doing. I also don't know much about models, but I do know if some of them lean any further back while walking down the catwalk, they are going to be flat on their backs - stillettoes to the wind. Some of the girls loped down the runway as if they were engaged in a permanent game of limbo. What's with that?