In 1967, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded an ancient Egyptian temple built in the first century B.C.—a gift from Egypt to the United States—to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On Tuesday, 4th of December, 2018, the Metropolitan Museum of Art turned the Temple of Dendur into a fashion runway for Chanel.
This was the first time in three decades that the Metropolitan Museum of Art allowed a fashion show inside its premises, turning into a catwalk for Karl Lagerfeld’s Metiers d’Art collection.
The show featured a collection inspired by ancient Egyptian fashion and featured a Tutankhamun and the Chrysler building set.
Other than Chanel’s collection, the show featured scarab-beetle handbags and pyramid embroidery. Graffitied dresses designed in collaboration with the artist Cyril Kongo paid homage to New York street culture and to hieroglyphics.
In addition to turning Egyptian history into props to showcase their latest fashion, Chanel invited singer and producer Pharell Williams who was the “golden boy” of the show. Pharell was literally dressed in all gold, wore eyeliner and had the full King Tut look.
This is not the first appearance for Pharell with Chanel, though. Pharell appeared in several runway shows and broke barriers when he modeled for a handbag campaign two years ago.
It’s worth noting that earlier this week Chanel announced that they will be the latest luxury fashion brand to ban the use of fur and exotic animal skins. This is a big step for animal rights and an unexpected move from Chanel who rely heavily on animal skins and fur in their designs.
So what do you think? Was this show really paying homage to Egyptian culture, or was it distasteful to use real historic monuments as props for a fashion show?