At 9am on Thursday, May 2nd, guest arrived at the Grand Palais to view the Chanel Cruise 2020 collection to find the entire venue transformed into an incredible train station. Carriages were decked out with tables set for breakfast, waiters hovered with cheese trolleys, smoked salmon and berries. One hour later, “disembarking” past the grand station clock, guests were led into the main hall under the glass domed roof. This 240m long space is where Karl Lagerfeld used to stage his spectacular sets – everything from the Chanel supermarket to a rocket to a giant cruise liner, icebergs to beaches to Paris boulevards. Thursday morning, however, it was eerily sparse. The idea was a simple train platform, set out with nothing but wooden-slat benches and signposts reading train stops of ‘Saint Tropez’, ‘Antibes,’ ‘Rome,’ and ‘Byzance’.
The first show helmed by Virginie Viard, the director of Chanel's fashion collections, taking over from Karl Lagerfeld in February drew inspiration from old-fashioned rail travel.
Dubbed 'Destination Chanel', the Beaux-Arts style station showcased an array of modern silhouettes and ready-to-wear travel-inspired ensembles. Viard's staging and style payed tribute to the legacy kept left behind by Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel.
The evening before the show, Chanel had hosted a cocktail for the launch of its new J12 watch at its boutique on Place Vendôme. Many of the stars of the campaign attended the show, including Kiera Knightley, whose appearance in a custom-made ivory dress broke the news of her second pregnancy - all anyone could talk about. Claudia Schiffer, Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp and Liu Wen were also in attendance - as was Ali MacGraw, resplendent at 80, who took a front row seat next to Anna Mouglalis at the show the following morning in monochrome and silver ballet pumps.
Pastel prints on tiered chiffon dresses blended into one another, like a landscape viewed from a window, blurred by the speed of a train, while pink and blue sequins accumulate like holes punched into travel tickets. Meanwhile guipure lace was informed by the mechanisms of station clocks: look closely, and you’ll spot clock hands and dials.
It bag-watchers would have found much to lust over in this collection - it was chock full with gorgeous bags. Impossible to choose between the new metal travel flasks, slipped into a leather case and slung over the shoulder with a chain strap; the smart monochrome bumbags loosely buckled over relaxed white skirt suits, or the skinny belts boasting two dangling quilted purses, just the right size for a favourite Chanel lipstick, phone, and boarding pass. When it comes to accessories, comfort and functionality were placed at the core - just try that Chanel harness on for size.
The time is nigh for a bandana revival - take your style notes from Jackie Kennedy, a mega Chanel fan who spent her summers in Saint Tropez and Capri, and bring back the headscarf for your holidays abroad. Worn with a crisp white shirt, white slacks and a cinched nubbly cardigan, it's a sleeker alternative to the supersized straw hats soon to be filling up your feed.
To see all the looks from the collection click HERE
What did you think of the Chanel Resort Show? Some people have said that it leans too heavily on the past and that the House of Chanel need to move forward others feel that this was an elegant nod to the legacy and history of the brand.
We'd love to hear your opinion.