Rul­ing the waves

Where bet­ter for Chanel to show its lat­est Cruise col­lec­tion than on board a replica liner?

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

IN DE­CEM­BER, Karl Lager­feld staged a Chanel cat­walk show in the port city of Ham­burg, where the mod­els wore a very chic take on rough-and-ready sea­men’s uni­forms: gab­erdines, sou’west­ers, lots of rope de­tails, bags shaped like ac­cor­dions. One model emerged smok­ing a pipe.

Now, he has shown us what his gilded pas­sen­gers will wear when they step aboard HMS Fash­ion.

Chanel’s an­nual Cruise col­lec­tion show is the big­gest event in the la­bel’s cal­en­dar. The clothes on this run­way sell bet­ter and stay in store longer even than the ready-to-wear col­lec­tions of spring/sum­mer and au­tumn/win­ter. This de­spite the fact that its light cot­tons, di­aphanous chif­fons and cropped se­quin tops ar­rive in Novem­ber, just when we’re bat­ten­ing down the hatches be­fore Christ­mas. But then, Coco Chanel her­self in­vented the con­cept of a Cruise col­lec­tion in 1919, pre­sent­ing cus­tomers in the au­tumn with a hol­i­day wardrobe of un­lined jersey skirts and light jumpers. All per­fect in­spi­ra­tions for her wardrobe on-board her lover the Duke of West­min­ster’s yacht Fly­ing Cloud. Who­ever said fash­ion has to bow to the rigours of the Bri­tish cli­mate?

Lager­feld had wanted to hire an ac­tual cruise ship for his show, but when he found out that they were all booked up two years in ad­vance, he shrugged his shoul­ders and com­manded his team to build a gi­gan­tic 148m replica in­side Paris’s Grand Palais. With the sound of seag­ulls and foghorns drift­ing over the shot­silk sea, the au­di­ence could make be­lieve they re­ally were em­bark­ing on a voy­age to the wilder shores of fash­ion. — Sasha Slater

Above: Chanel’s new Cruise col­lec­tion on the run­way at the Grand Palais in Paris last week

Be­low left Cap­tain Karl takes a bow at the show’s fi­nale

Left A gi­gan­tic faux cruise liner fills the Grand Palais in Paris

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