Chanel Spring/Summer 2016 Ready to Wear Show

AIR travel has been a big topic of conversation in the fashion world of late. It seems a week hardly passes without some brand somewhere staging a megawatt show in a megawatt location. Fashion has become a traveling circus, if you will, and Chanel alone is famous for its global destinations, from Moscow to Seoul to Salzburg to Dallas; the house has presented a show in all of them. This year perhaps more than any other, editors and buyers have really clocked up the air miles, and so the idea of heading to an airport – again – as the show invitation indicates, might not be so appealing. But Chanel’s airport is the exception.

And so to Aeroport Paris Cambon, Karl Lagerfeld’s idea of how air travel should be: complete with airline lounges, Chanel branded luggage trollies, smiling staff stationed behind check-in desks, strapping luggage handlers, and signage directing models to gates (No. 5… naturally), Paris’ Grand Palais had been transformed into an airy, brightly-lit fully fledged airport, and pretty fancy it was too. Nothing like the shenanigans recently witnessed here, where bosses of Air France were mobbed and left shirtless. This was an altogether first class affair.

With no hurried travellers (although the information screen did announce a couple of delays) one by one models emerged, some wheeling along luggage, and occasionally stopping by check-in to collect travel documents like they had all the time in the world. Classic tweedy skirt suits, some with pencil skirts and dropped shoulder jackets, others with cropped three-quarter sleeve boucle jackets recalled a more glamorous time of air travel; they were the sort of ensembles one might put on in the hope of getting an upgrade, while a younger sportier gang donned trackpants or knitted skirts and sweater combos – just the ticket for a comfortable long haul. Topped with baseball caps turned backwards and mirrored aviators to shield their faces, they called to mind the all too familiar pap shot of the hottest, newest celebrity as she emerges from a flight to the intrusion of flashbulbs.

There was lots of layering here: full skirts were fastened over trousers, sweaters were tied around waists and elsewhere knotted around the shoulders, almost as though the girls got stung at check in with excess baggage and instead of paying the fee, decided to pull out pieces and throw them on instead all in an effort to aid weight restrictions. The theme of air travel carried through, right down to the soles of shoes, where flatform sandals were lit up depicting the lights on a runway. Come fly with Chanel? Yes please.

Sarah Harris

Chanel Spring/Summer 2016 Ready to Wear Show


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