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Chanel's new chief Virginie Viard merged the worlds of two of its most famous couturiers, those of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, for a cerebral couture show in Paris set inside a huge circular library. For Viard's first-ever solo couture show, both Chanel, the woman, and Lagerfeld, the house's longtime German-born designer who died in February, were invoked through their well-known passion for books. So, it was a touching gesture by Viard -- his longtime head of studio -- to keep his memory alive at the Chanel fall-winter couture show by creating a two-level library in the Grand Palais, bursting with tomes of classic French writers such as Baudelaire and Verlaine on wooden shelves, to display the designs.Viard did not need a crutch to sell her couture, however.In her first major calendar fashion show, she demonstrated a distinct artistic flair and vision that will take Chanel confidently into the future.Tweed, velvet, wool crepe mixed with lace and chiffon to provide the material.Tonkin said she was happy that Chanel again has a female designer at the helm, at a time when its rival, Dior, also named its first female designer in history, Maria Grazia Chiuri.The rival to Chanel in terms of star-power, Giorgio Armani's fall-winter display was held symbolically in the Petit Palais, the palace located opposite the Parisian stalwart's morning show venue.
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