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.
The theme served to provide a sense of continuity for Viard's couture debut — but it was a display that proved the relatively-unknown 57-year-old can hold her own.
Lagerfeld's personal library of around 300,000 books, with its several librarians, featured prominently during a poignant memorial for him last month.
"It's an illness, I'm not afraid to admit it," he once said.
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.