Earlier today in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director and owner of a custom $25,000 golden Apple Watch, transformed the majestic, arching interiors of the Grand Palais into a makeshift data center. Tangles of colorful ethernet cords spewed from stacks of servers. Models dressed in haute couture and sometimes a robot helmet strutted down a stark white runway.

The idea was to juxtapose the computer gear—hardware—and the clothes. It was also, one could assume, a not-so-subtle wink at the show’s attendees, many of whom recorded the whole thing via Instagram (photos that live somewhere in one of Facebook’s sprawling data farms).

The show even attracted the attention of no less a trade publication than Datacenter Dynamics. “Where was our invite?” wrote DCD‘s Sebastian Moss. Upon closer inspection of the set’s veracity, he said: “One strange detail is that close-ups seem to show activity lights on, above empty sockets.” Seriously, that’s strange.

Lagerfeld seems to have discovered what plenty of artists before him already knew: A strange and surreal beauty to the unseen infrastructure powers our lives. And it’s pretty fierce.


Chanel Turned Its Fashion Show Runway Into a Data Center