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Bienvenue Chanel! French Fashion House Is Taking Over Fair Park

Chanel presents a big runway show tonight -- in Dallas' Fair Park.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Chanel presents a big runway show in Dallas; a Rockwall harmonica player is featured in one of the country’s most popular songs; Klyde Warren Park becomes a skating rink, and more:

Will Chanel No. 5 feel at home in the land of corny dogs and cows? We’ll find out tonight as the exclusive Metiers d’Art fashion show takes over Fair Park. Today, Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, presents the ritzy runway show for hundreds of celebrities, fashion journalists and other Chanel VIPs. (Did your invite get lost in the mail?) “This is of international significance,” Brian Bolke, owner of Dallas luxury fashion boutique Forty Five Ten, told The Dallas Morning News. “It is an extraordinary, once-a-year experience that happens to be in Dallas. And it certainly won’t ever be back here.” The News suggests the fashion show could help “raise Dallas’ profile as a serious fashion city on par with Paris and New York.” Chanel says the event is a chance to celebrate the strong bond that linked French designer Coco Chanel to the United States -- she visited Dallas in 1957 and got to hang out with Stanley Marcus with Neiman Marcus. will show behind-the-scene features from the fashion show starting at 8 p.m. A film, “The Return,” which was written and directed by Lagerfield, will be shown tonight before the fashion show. The film should be posted on at 6:30. On Wednesday, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour will honor Lagerfeld at yet another invitation-only event at Neiman Marcus’ downtown store.

Here’s a preview of the movie …

  • A Rockwall harmonica player is one of the stars of one of the hottest songs out right now. Paul Harrington plays the harmonica in “Timber,” the new single by Pitbull and Ke$ha. (It’s currently the No. 4 single on the Billboard 100 – and it’s climbing.) “It may sound like a loop, but I played that live throughout the track,” Paul Harrington told The Dallas Morning News. “When I heard the finished track, I was knocked out. Boy, did they turn me up loud.” Harrington received $1,000 for his recording session. He won’t get any royalties, but he told The News he’s hoping the exposure will get him more studio work. Harrington’s played the harmonica for scores of jingles and commercials for the past 30 years. And now you want to hear the music, right? Listen for the harmonica at the beginning and throughout:

  • The ice is melting! The ice is melting! (In some places.) Schools are opening again. (Most, but not all.) So as you’ve driven around, have you felt like you’re practically skiing on moguls? If so, then you’ve had the pleasure of driving on cobblestone ice. Sounds poetic, doesn’t it? Far from it. It’s stubborn, thick ice that just won’t melt away quickly. The special ice has caused truckers to go bonkers as they’ve been stuck on area highways. Learn more about cobblestone ice, a term you’ve probably heard mentioned every few minutes on local TV newscasts over the past few days.

  • Seismologists from SMU are about to deploy seismic monitors in and around Azle to study the recent burst of small earthquakes that have rattled the area northwest of Fort Worth. About two dozen earthquakes have been recorded in North Texas since Nov.1. The most recent quake, with a 3.7 magnitude, struck near Mineral Wells early Monday. Several others have jolted Azle in recent weeks. Read more about SMU’s plans on KERA’s Breakthroughs blog. KERA has been covering the earthquake issue – we recently checked in with Azle residents to get their thoughts on being in the epicenter. Meanwhile, SMU researchers have explored whether injection wells from natural gas drilling are connected to the earthquakes.

  • Since Friday, most of North Texas has been a skating rink thanks to the ice storm. But on Friday, Klyde Warren Park opens an authentic skating rink. Skate rentals will be free Friday and complimentary skate lessons will be offered Saturday and Sunday. (Sign up here for a time slot.) Normally, rentals will be $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. You can bring your own ice skates to avoid the rental fee. (But how many of us have skates hanging around the house?) The rink measures 32 feet by 100 feet and will be located in front of the children’s park. “The surface is eco-friendly and is made with a scientifically engineered molecular structure that lets skaters glide just as smoothly as on real ice.” Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The rink will be open through Jan. 31.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.