It comes that time of year once again, paparazzi flock, models strut, and Lagerfeld bows.
The Chanel parade, the most sought after seat in the annual fashion event calendar, brings together fashion royalty, A-list celebrities, and a worldwide audience waiting to see what Karl can make possible, year in and year out. His vision is assembled once a year, with the Grand Palais his canvas, and each season’s garments his paints- from the mundane antics of a (Chanel) supermarket, to the icebergs from the Arctic, and a hay-ridden ranch filled with Lily Allen’s voice- it’s the show that stops an industry. Blogger’s Instagram posts can’t do it justice, nor can Wintour resist a smirk, while Lagerfeld gets up out of his seat, almost too dazed to care, walking next to his Chanel-girl pack of protesters as if it happens every day.
It’s hard not to envy those blessed with an invitation, this year in it’s simplest form, inviting each guest to view the Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection down the ‘Boulevard Chanel’, a street erected in the heart of the Grand Palais’s famous glass dome, where models walked casually down the footpaths, over pedestrian crossing and beneath apartment balcony’s on their way to, well…a protest. It wasn’t until the calm had passed, when Delevingne led all fifty Chanel-draped models down the Boulevard for the final time. Posters in arm, tweed in stride, and Lagerfeld by their side.
While the show was obvious in it’s purpose, (and cemented later by Lagerfeld himself) the Chanel girls took a stroll down the Boulevard, epitomising the free-spirited, active and modern young women that Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel herself, envisioned wearing her suits nearly seven decades before. With feminist hype in the air well before the show went on, the flared suit pants and padded jackets embody the masculinity that the world wants to see, yet embellished with jewels, sequins and silk neckties, reminding us that yes, they are still women. While there were classic Chanel A-lines, black-and-white tweed, and enough flat boots to put in goodies bags, the vibrance of colour and flamboyant prints were a reminder of freedom, equality and from what I saw, a 1960’s cluster of hippies on their way to Woodstock (wearing Chanel).
As i’m half way across the other side of the world, and a million miles both in time and space from the show itself, I sit replaying the video, reading every article and admittedly, envying each guest. Despite the fashion F.O.M.O and a frustration of viewing the chaos from behind a computer screen, when my time comes, i’ll be the most prepared guest Lagerfeld has ever invited- with Chanel boy bag in arm, my invitation framed and most probably the iphone10S ready to snap the next tweed ensemble- hopefully the Palais remains packed and at the edge of their seat to see what this fashion house genius still has in stall for them, ten (plus) years down the track.
Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear
Paris Fashion Week Fall 2014
Paris Fashion Week 2008 Winter/Fall
Paris Fashion Week Spring 2011
Paris Fashion Week Winter 2010/2011
Paris Fashion Week Winter 2012