They say the show must go on, and high-fashion runway shows are no exception.
Despite the recent passing of creative director Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week show proceeded in full-force, and it was a sight to see.
The Chanel Fall Winter 2019 runway show was basically a sartorial winter wonderland.
While Paris has hovered around a relatively moderate 53 degrees during PFW, the Chanel show looked like a beautiful snowy day at the most stylish ski resort we’ve ever seen.
Lagerfeld often said that the ideas for his collections came to him in dreams.
Given that Chanel has created extravagant sets around rocket ships and Paris monuments in recent years, it surely means that some of the last backdrops that Lagerfeld conceived were based on the seasons.
He was known for his elaborate runway sets, and this time, the Palais Royal was transformed into a snowy ski village in Switzerland, complete with Chanel skis and smoking chalet chimneys.
It was “Like walking in a painting.”
And now we were in the stillness of a wintry landscape, accentuated by the serene Philip Glass soundtrack.
Think houndstooth galore, pink, purple and blue hues, winter capes and a few nods to classic Chanel suiting.
Model Cara Delevingne, one of the designer’s favorites, opened the show in a black-and-white tweed ensemble. All of Lagerfeld’s signatures were present: bulbous “snow-ball” dresses, fanny packs with double-C logos, jumpsuits, ruffled collars, and hands in pockets.
Models all wore black ribbons in their hair, as Lagerfeld did, with some dressed as spitting images of the designer. In all, the collection was feminine, tough, and cheeky-chic in a way that only Karl Lagerfeld could pull off.
If our winter2019 wardrobes look anything close to this, we’ll be thrilled.
Actress Penélope Cruz, who is a Chanel brand ambassador, closed the show wearing a white snow-ball dress and carrying a white rose in her hand.
The clothes, which he had worked on with his studio chief (and now successor), Virginie Viand, were both classic Chanel and relevant — with wide-leg, exaggerated houndstooth trousers, and jackets; sweeping coats in black-and-white windowpane check; dirndl skirts; fleece ski boots; cheerful knits with puffer jackets; some beautiful long black capes.
For the finale, David Bowie’s “Heroes” played as the entire cast exited in a group, just as they did at Fendi. The audience gave a standing ovation, with some wiping tears from underneath their dark sunglasses.
There were not many tears until the end, when the models, led by Cara Delevingne, swept back out in a group to Bowie’s “Heroes.”
At this point the audience stood and applauded. They continued in that vein for several minutes, even after the runway was empty.
The whole runway was lit with his memories. And it seems like the show was handled well by Chanel: solemn but not maudlin, respectful but also mindful.
The entire show was filled with wintry inspiration, and it’s making us not too mad spring is taking forever to arrive.
So grab some hot cocoa, pretend you’re in a snow-covered cabin and take in these incredible looks from the Chanel Fall/Winter 2019 show.
Because as KL himself said: “The beat goes on…”
Images: Courtesy of Chanel
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