First it was a rocket ship at Paris’s Grand Palais, this time a beach. Not just a beachy backdrop and a therapeutic soundtrack reminiscent of summers gone by but a functional seaside complete with sand and lapping water inside the Grand Palais all for Chanel’s SS19 show.
On the one hand, I guess it’s one way to keep people in the spring/summer spirit while October creeps in on us. On the other hand, building an entire beach is surely a little much, no?
In Karl Lagerfeld’s usual style, not a single expense was spared nor detail missed but really, we expected nothing less particularly when last season the French fashion house flew in trees, moss and soil to perfectly compliment their autumn/winter collection. Not to be overlooked is the waterfall (again, not just a backdrop but a functioning waterfall. Our Karl doesn’t do half measures) of the SS18 collection and of course, we mustn’t (read: couldn’t if we tried) forget the functional rocket their AW17 collection called for.
Not to be a total spoil sport but let’s all remember that each of these extravagant sets were built for the sake of one show that probably didn’t last more than an hour.
Admittedly the male model lifeguards certainly sounded an intriguing part of the entire fiasco. For context, the waves of Chanel’s beach, propelled by cleverly hidden machines, rippled on the champagne-coloured sand a mere ten feet away from the front row while male models clothed in preppy, umbrella-printed uniforms responsibly kept watch atop their lifeguard chairs.
I’ll admit, the second I heard about the model’s entrance and the contents of the actual collection, initial skepticism of Chanel’s extravagance began to subside as I was swept up in the whimsical romanticism of it all. Upon entering the venue, models continued to walk through the water and the sand of their runway before ascending a short flight of stairs to pair of Chanel slide sandals waiting for them before setting off down the runway.
Accessories and clothes obviously matched the beach theme in the very sophisticated Chanel way with straw baseball hats, umbrella patterned silk scarves and cross body bags designed in a delicate manner in the shape of beach balls and seashells. Low slung, silver hip-belts made an appearance spelling Chanel along with drop earrings spelling out ‘CHA’ down the left ear and ‘NEL’ down the right.
Earlier looks in the show resembled resort wear with the inclusion of gauzy, bikini-strapped bodysuit styled with an orange sarong as well as a white tweed midi-skirt with crystallised palm trees. However, the final parade concluded with a monochrome palette of tulle, silk and sequins as Chanel revealed the more formal evening wear of the collection.
And just like that, as quickly as it all began, our trip to Costa del Chanel was over as Lagerfeld took his final bow to a standing ovation alongside Chanel Fashion Studio Director Virginie Viard.
Who knows what’s in store for next season’s Chanel show…