AUTHORITIES will shut down part of Linlithgow’s High Street so celebrities can be swept to a stellar fashion event in a cavalcade of limousines.
Security will be ultra-tight when the Chanel fashion show – being held at Linlithgow Palace on December 4 – is staged. A host of A-list stars including Brad Pitt, 48, and Angelina Jolie, 37, are rumoured to be attending the catwalk spectacular. Security staff have already been stationed at the main gates and around the grounds of the historic palace – birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots – which is closed to the public until after the event.
The high-scale lockdown by the luxury French fashion brand will maintain a veil of secrecy synonymous with events run by chief designer Karl Lagerfeld, 79.
Councillors, community leaders and police are being briefed by a senior Chanel agent this morning on full arrangements for the Metiers d’Art show.
Central to those talks is the revelation a parade of limousines carrying up to 400 guests is scheduled to arrive by road from Edinburgh on the night of the show - in what could be a logistical headache for town officials.
Extra police are almost certain to be deployed, with the town’s Kirkgate and Cross area to be closed between 3pm and 7pm. Linlithgow Business Association chairman David Tait said the levels of secrecy were such that friends within the Royal Burgh dealing with contractors were refusing to speak about the show.
He said: “It’s all very hush-hush. I know several of the people very well who are dealing with it and their lips are sealed.” It’s such an unprecedented event that nobody knows just how many people are going to turn up.”
Chanel is shipping in all of the equipment and staff for the launch themselves rather than employing local contractors.
The show’s centrepiece is tipped to be a giant glass cube erected inside the roofless palace to protect some of the world’s wealthiest guests from Scotland’s wintry conditions.
Mr Tait said the challenge now was to get the legacy of the event attached to Linlithgow, not Edinburgh. He said: “What we’re hoping is that this can really illustrate the potential of the palace and show how it could be used as an economic driver for the community of Linlithgow.”
West Lothian Council is preparing for a potential flock of spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of celebrity guests. Linlithgow Ward councillor Martyn Day said local businesses would be encouraged to stay open late on the night.
Beauty therapist Lisa Ritchie has created a Chanel-themed window display at local store Natural Therapies to get into the spirit.