For a collection titled Paris-Bombay, the latest in Chanel’s series of Arts & Metiers presentations was a notably subtle ode to India. Though dripping in pearls, gilded braiding and beaded epaulettes and topped with sensational bejewelled headpieces, Karl Lagerfeld gave only a nod to the opulence of India. He was careful to avoid any clichés, using a pared down palette of black, red, cream and grey instead of the bright hues associated with Indian fashion and avoiding an overuse of the sari. Summing up his vision for an utterly modern interpretation of Nehru jackets, silk jodhpurs and other subtle references, Largefeld explained that the collection was, “not at all Bollywood — it’s the idea of India, inspiration more from the men’s clothes, saris worn like a scarf and a touch of what hippies would like”.

Where there was intricate embellishment, it was of the finest example. For the Arts & Metiers show by Chanel is devised specifically to showcase the work of the seven artisan ateliers that are owned by Chanel and which supply its couture studio. As such, the collection lies unusually somewhere between ready to wear and couture.

For Paris-Bombay, those touches of craftsmanship included embroidery by Lesage (and its new artistic director Hubert Barrere who paid homage to founder Francois Lesage), buttons and jewelry by Desrues, metalwork by Goossens, flowers of lace, silk, and velvet by Guillet, and more intricate embellishment by Montex, the most recent addition to the Chanel stable of specialist artisans.

“We’ve had Paris-London, we’ve had Paris-Shanghai, so it felt like time to go off the circuit, to somewhere less expected,” said Lagerfeld of the show. Though the designer has not actually been to India, not that he considers this a problem: "It's much more inspiring not to go to places than to go".