Chanel homage to Coco at the Ritz

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By FIACHRA GIBBONS in Paris Agence France-Presse

The leg­endary French fash­ion la­bel Chanel paid homage to its founder Coco Chanel Tues­day with a show at the Ritz in Paris.

Pill­box hats with net­ted veils, long woolly jumpers and scarves, tweed suits glit­ter­ing with gor­geous in­lay and pearls aplenty, you half ex­pected Made­moi­selle Chanel to ap­pear for af­ter­noon tea with one of her ne’er-do-well aris­to­cratic lovers.

The re­doubtable de­signer spent a large part of her life liv­ing in a suite in the swish ho­tel, in­clud­ing most con­tro­ver­sially dur­ing World War II, when a Ger­man in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, Baron Hans Gun­ther von Dinck­lage, shared her bed.

But de­signer Karl Lager­feld — who has rarely echoed her style more in his three decades at the helm of her la­bel — pre­ferred to con­cen­trate on the hap­pier times.

Mod­els rarely smile on the Paris cat­walk, but here they pos­i­tively beamed as they skipped be­tween the ta­bles of its tea­room to “Putting on the Ritz”, oc­ca­sion­ally fall­ing into the arms of a beau in tails.

Led out by two mod­el­sturned-ac­tresses, Cara Delev­ingne and Lily-Rose Depp — the daugh­ter of Vanessa Par­adis and Hol­ly­wood star Johnny Depp — this was a show about the in­sou­ciance of hav­ing it all; the in­dis­creet charm of the jet set writ.

The singer Phar­rell Wil­liams wore pearls not just around his neck but on top of his head, and was more than happy about it, while Levi Dy­lan, the grand­son of singer and sur­prise No­bel lau­re­ate Bob Dy­lan sported a tweed bomber jacket.

“The Ritz is very Paris, but men and women from all over the world come here, so it is a tem­ple of cos­mopoli­tan el­e­gance,” Lager­feld told re­porters af­ter­wards.

The an­nual show which cel­e­brates the artistry of Chanel’s small army of em­broi­der­ers, plumassiers and boot­mak­ers made a few know­ing nods to street style with over­sized beanie hats and pedal push­ers, but oth­er­wise this was a time-ma­chine trip through clas­sic killer Chanel looks.

Hardly a head was not dec­o­rated with a plume, a fas­ci­na­tor hat or a camellia, Coco Chanel’s fa­vorite flower.

With eyes peer­ing through net veils, and flared leather black trousers with black and white tweed and leather jack­ets, it was the acme of 1930s el­e­gance re­vis­ited.

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