Dezeen Magazine

Chanel fashion show overseen by Karl Lagerfeld

Twelve of Karl Lagerfeld's most impressive fashion shows

Karl Lagerfeld was known for creating spectacular runway shows. Following the news of his death, here's a look at 12 of the best, including a recreation of the Eiffel Tower and a Chanel-branded supermarket.

A daring and often-controversial visionary, Lagerfeld is best known for his roles as creative director at Chanel and Fendi.

The German fashion designer began working at Fendi in 1965, then also took over the reins at Chanel in 1983. It was here that he cemented his reputation – each season saw him reinterpret the fashion house's famous tweed in a new way, while catwalk presentations became increasingly lavish every year.

Here's a look at 12 shows where the set design was particularly memorable:


Métiers d'Art 2018/19

For the Chanel 2018/19 Métiers d'art collection, Lagerfeld sent models around The Met's Temple of Dendur – an Ancient Egyptian monument completed in 10BC.


Spring Summer 2012

Bleached white sea-beds with oversized shells and seaweed featured in the Spring Summer 2012 collection, which saw models walk down the catwalk in cream garments to a soundtrack of Florence and the Machine, performed live on a seashell-like stage.


Spring Summer 2017

A data centre provided the backdrop for this futuristic show at the Grand Palais in Paris, which included models dressed as glossy, white robots and bags with flashing LED displays.


Spring Summer 2019

For his most recent (and final) couture show, Lagerfeld recreated the Villa Chanel country house, again at the Grand Palais in Paris, complete with lavish ponds, palm trees and formal grass and topiary.


Autumn Winter 2018/19

For its Autumn Winter 2018/19 collection, Chanel transformed the Grand Palais into an enchanted forest. Models emerged from a mirrored cabin onto an autumnal runway of fallen leaves and bare trees.


Spring Summer 2017

A mirrored room provided the backdrop to this Chanel couture show, which included tall glass vases of elegant calla lilies.


Autumn Winter 2014/15

Lagerfeld turned the Grand Palais into a Chanel Shopping Centre where models walked down aisles stocked with Chanel-branded goods.


Autumn Winter 2017/18

In this incredulous feat of set design, Lagerfeld recreated Paris' most iconic architectural landmark in the halls of Paris' Grand Palais, which he dotted with outdoor chairs for the assembled audience.


Métiers d’Art 2015/16

This funny play on words and locations saw Lagerfeld recreate the area surrounding Paris' Rome metro station in Teatro 5, at Cinecittà Studios in the Italian capital.


Spring Summer 2015

This metaphysical runway show saw models walk down a recreation of a Parisian street within the Grand Palais, and closed with the models engaging in a feminist-inspired protest.


Autumn Winter 2010/11

Long before Olafur Eliasson was installing glaciers halfway across the globe, Lagerfeld transported 240 tons of ice from Scandinavia into the Grand Palais for this arctic-inspired runway show.


Autumn Winter 2017/18

Lagerfeld literally launched a rocket into the sky in this explosive, space-themed runway show – to a backdrop of Elton John's seminal track, Rocket Man.