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Elle (Canada) - - Style -

metas­ta­siz­ing me­trop­o­lis of multi-lane high­ways flanked by ho­tels, cranes and four-storey bill­boards ad­ver­tis­ing Wendy’s Porta­bella burger. Chanel’s task was to cre­ate a spec­ta­cle that cap­tured the city’s ul­tra-mod­ern qual­ity in all its se­duc­tive strange­ness. As Pavlovsky put it, “We wanted to do some­thing you could only do in Dubai.”

The night of the show, the jour­ney be­gan by abra, a tra­di­tional wooden boat, from the shore to an is­land, which un­til eight weeks pre­vi­ously had nei­ther elec­tric­ity nor run­ning wa­ter. Now it had a mas­sive metal hangar with a lat­tice made of in­ter­lock­ing Cs. Can­dles in the sand lit the path to the struc­ture, past Bedouin-style tents stocked with hookahs, while gen­tle­men of­fered guests cof­fee served in del­i­cate sil­ver cups. Clients in hi­jabs and red lip­stick posed for street-style pix with their Chanel 2.55s.

The col­lec­tion it­self was a knock­out: an East­meets-West sar­to­rial mix of tex­tu­ral tweed suits, harem pants and gor­geous pat­terned dresses and coats. “It was ex­actly what I hoped it would be: a Marisa Beren­son mash-up,” said Tilda Swinton on the sand af­ter the show. Torch­light il­lu­mi­nated the sky­line, in­clud­ing the cov­eted real es­tate on Palm Jumeirah—the man-made is­lands cre­ated in the shape of a palm tree—which is al­most twice as large as Cen­tral Park.

Later, Karl Lager­feld and Par­adis sat to­gether on a raised struc­ture, bob­bing their heads as Monáe sang “ABC” by the Jack­son 5 and meg­amod­els Grace Ma­hary and Lindsey Wix­son busted a move on the dance floor. Out­side, the first guests lined up to catch an abra back to the main­land, drift­ing from the lovely fash­ion bub­ble into some­thing slicker and grit­tier: a con­sumerist Shangri-La ris­ing in the desert, its hour come round at last. ■

Tilda Swinton Vanessa Par­adis Janelle Monáe

SURE SHOT

Pearls and pat­terns added ex­otic glam­our to ac­ces­sories.

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