Chanel Takes Flight for Spring 2016

by Paige Reddinger

Bon voyage! Chanel took flight at the Grand Palais in Paris today. Guests walked into a Chanel airport complete with airline check-in desks, luggage conveyor belts, and departure and arrival screens, which listed all of the chic locales where the brand has held its special Métiers d’Arts shows including Singapore, Dubai, Dallas, Salzburg, Shanghai, New York, Moscow, London, Tokyo, and Seoul.  Upon entering “Chanel Airlines,” guests were handed a fashion week newspaper called Stiletto Daily with a cover story on Chanel, bien sûr. 

According to Stiletto Daily, the show seated an incredible 2,555 guests and took 10 days to set up. Mind you, there have been shows going on at the Grand Palais every day this week. Chanel airlines was located at terminal 2C, gate 5, and the chicly clad clientele wore the house’s celebrated tweeds, which were actually embroideries meant to look like the brand’s iconic fabric. Models sported twin ponytails in barrettes, a hair style called le double catogan in a sketch by Karl Lagerfeld that was handed out at the show. The newspaper also mentions the 2.55 denim bag that will be available come January (there’s the big push!) and the showdown match between Chanel and Courrèges declared by Roland Barthes in 1967 in Marie Claire. But per usual, this show wasn’t about old times. It was thoroughly modern, just as Karl likes it.

To that end, muse Cara Delevingne sat perched front row with girlfriend St. Vincent as she admired the backward baseball caps, and sandals with pearl-like details that lit up like the lights on airport runways, and sequined jackets—all of which seemed inspired by the supermodel’s own sartorial style. Of course, there were chic carry-ons and luggage for the modern jet-setting woman, which models carried as they pretended to check in with attendants for flights at airport desks. The clothes were a brilliant mix of the airlines golden years in the 60s PanAm days and today’s more casual sportswear attire. Karl kept his Park Avenue dames happy in their ladylike skirt suits and pearls, while ensuring that their daughters will have the baseball caps, bags, and sandals flying off the shelves.

As for the front row? VIP guests like Delevingne, St. Vincent, Hudson Kroenig, Stephen Gan, Carine Roitfeld, Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, Amy Astley, and Eva Chen were seated in airport chairs in the center of the venue (Karl Lagerfeld knows how to orchestrate a good Instagram moment). Interestingly, some of the chairs were left empty. Perched on the usual front rows were the standard crowd of top EIC’s plus, Lagerfeld favorites Lily-Rose Depp and mother Vanessa Paradis, who were barely visible to those in attendance thanks to a mob of photographers. In the age of the Instagram-worthy runway show frenzy, few can come close to the Kaiser’s creations chez Chanel. All aboard!

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