Chanel

Chanel

Chosen as this year's venue by creative director Karl Lagerfeld, Venice has particular resonance with the brand as Mademoiselle Chanel herself was so enamoured with it. She visited the city back in 1919 for the first time following the sudden death of her lover Boy Capel and continued to be inspired by it throughout the rest of her career.

Past Chanel events have seen synchronised swimmers perform in Miami, while in 2007 New York's Grand Central Station provided the setting to the show. If that wasn't spectacular enough, in October 2007, Lagerfeld, in his role for Fendi, took over a section of the Great Wall of China to showcase 88 models on an 88-metre podium to over 1,000 VIP guests, including Kate Bosworth and Thandie Newton.

This year's event was held on a promenade on Venice's Lido beachfront illuminated by strips of 150 lamps and candles that gave the proceedings a moviestar glow.

In true Lagerfeld style, no expense was spared. The 150 metre "boardwalk" catwalk was made of wooden slats that were treated with no less than 10 finishes in a bid to give them the effect of having been weathered by the sun and sea.

What's more, 10 tons of sand was imported over a three week period to level the beach, while guests including actresses Olivia Magnani and Rinko Kikuchi watched the show from their seats in changing room cabins equipped with sound and light, made from wood and covered in beige canvas.

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By Rachel Arthur