Disgust as Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld chops down 100-year-old trees for nature-themed Paris fashion show

‘Nature is not chopping down trees in a forest, putting them up for a few hours for a show and then throwing them into a skip’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 9:13am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 8:08pm

Karl Lagerfeld created a spectacular midwinter wood for his Paris catwalk Tuesday – but immediately fell foul of environmental activists who accused him of chopping down century-old trees for the show.

The veteran German creator turned the Grand Palais into a forest, with tonnes of dead leaves strewn on mirrored steps and nine tall mossy trees embedded in the middle of its vast nave.

Trees had also been chopped down for the rows of benches for his guests, including Hollywood star Keira Knightley, British pop singer Lily Allen and former French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy.

The France Nature Environment group later condemned the show as “heresy”, accusing the luxury brand of trying to “give itself a more green image which is completely divorced from the reality of protecting nature.”

It said that whatever point Chanel was trying to prove with the show “had failed. Nature is not chopping down trees in a forest, putting them up for a few hours for a show and then throwing them into a skip.”

The brand – whose PVC-themed collection last year raised eyebrows at a time when plastic pollution is hitting the headlines – should be “setting an example”, the group said in a statement.

Fashion critics, however, had praised the set, with Harper’s Bazaar declaring that the “runway may be (Lagerfeld’s) best yet”. It loved the “lifelike forest” he conjured up that “seemed to extend infinitely”.

Front-row stars including French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis drooled over Lagerfeld’s new big bags and accessories. They included a “log” handbag that looked close to the real thing it risked being lost in the woods.

Chanel’s trademark long, pearl necklaces also made a reappearance, with former supermodel Cindy Crawford’s 16-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber wearing earrings featuring the brand’s double C logo.

South Korean star Hoyeon Jung and British model activist Adwoa Aboah also walked in the 80-look show.