Cara Delevingne returns to catwalk as Chanel take over The Ritz
Chanel has unveiled its final catwalk show of 2016 at The Ritz, where Princess Diana spent her last night. The Parisian hotel has always attracted high-wattage stars but they can’t often be more glittering than at this show.
Will Smith’s son Jaden was in the front row, his sister Willow on the catwalk (9.5m Twitter followers between them). Supermodels Cara Delevingne, Georgia May Jagger and Lily Rose Depp also took to the catwalk, alongside Lottie Moss and Levi Dylan, Bob Dylan’s grandson. Meanwhile, singer Pharrell Williams also made a guest appearance in glittering tweed and ropes of pearls.
“Karl Lagerfeld likes to work with the new generation. But it’s not us going ‘please, please come!’ They want to be here,” says Bruno Pavlovsky, the brand’s President of Fashion. “They do like to see, and touch, a bag.”
This was Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show, which celebrates the work of its skilled army of embroiderers, hatters, glove makers, jewellers and shoemakers. The show was named Paris Cosmopolite, and the choice of venue is a vote of confidence in the French capital which has been unpopular with American tourists since the 2015 terrorist attacks. The armed robbers who stole Kim Kardashian’s jewellery this October didn’t help.
But if anything can give the city a boost it’s Chanel. “There’s been a drop in the number of tourists coming to visit us,” explains Pavlovsky. “We want to create some energy in Paris, to keep its special place as the centre of fashion.”
Unusually for an industry which looks on food as a deadly enemy, Chanel stuffed the audience with sandwiches, profiteroles, biscuits and sweets during three shows, which showed the same collection, at lunch, tea and supper. Presumably the same feast was going on backstage. No wonder the models looked jaunty as they twirled and danced past customers and press.
As for the clothes themselves, there were sequin-embroidered tweeds, sharp monochrome suits, sparkling little black dresses and lots and lots of roses stitched onto skirts and dresses. Recreating the idea of cafe society of the 1920s and 30s it was slow fashion for a seenow-buy-now audience which is, no doubt, precisely what Karl Lagerfeld wanted. Among the bows and ribbons, there were even little Eiffel Towers embroidered on tulle.
“We don’t like fast fashion,” says Pavlovsky. “Our customers want a perfect product and our clothes are too sophisticated, too complicated to make quickly. Our customers know that and they’re happy to wait.” So long as the stars of Instagram are sharing it all with their followers right now.
Cara Delevingne walks the runway during Chanel Collection des Metiers d’Art 2016/17.