Cara Delev­ingne re­turns to cat­walk as Chanel take over The Ritz

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FASHION - By SASHA SLATER in Paris

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.

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