Text by JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) - Born in August, Coco Chanel was a Leo. So it's only logical - according to the over-the-top rationale of the luxury giant she founded - that the label's spectacular fall-winter 2011 haute couture show Tuesday be held beneath a mammoth golden lion.
The beast, the creation of set designers from the Paris opera, snarled overhead as the models emerged from a giant pearl the oversized paw was resting on. The French luxury supernova is known for its theatrical sets, which recently included a giant bottle of its best-selling No. 5 perfume or a life-size barn with real - and really smelly - hay.
But a gigantic golden lion sculpture?
That was spectacular, even by Chanel's standards.
Check out images from the show and scroll down to keep reading!
The label's reigning king, designer Karl Lagerfeld, sent out a regal collection of A-line dresses and sheaths fitted with cropped square-shaped jackets with half sleeves. Many of the looks, in rich reds, purples and chocolate browns, were entirely covered in sequins that glinted wildly under the flashes of hundreds of cameras.
"I tried to take a picture with my i-Phone but for this I definitely needed a Leica," model Milla Jovovich, one of a bevy of A-list beauties gracing the front row, told The Associated Press. Other celebrity guests included "Gossip Girl" Leighton Meester and Jessica Alba.
Jovovich, a L'Oreal spokesmodel, said she was coveting the whole collection but had her eye on a particular pair of slouchy sequin-covered boots.
"They're so amazing, so showy," she cooed.
Lagerfeld begged to differ.
"They're all very discreet, there's no flashy effects," the ponytailed designer told The AP in a post-show interview. "You really have to know about embroidery, about luxury, to see that they're expensive clothes."