I hope that all is well with you and that a hint of Spring is in the air and just around the corner.
I wanted to give you my last report of Paris fashion week as it draws to a close for this season, and as usual, I wound up my participation with a flourish: the always impressive, dazzling, fantabulous Chanel show. It is always an ASTOUNDING fantastic show, and today was very much in keeping with their ready to wear tradition of gorgeous clothes. One of the most impressive things about the Chanel ready to wear fashion show (as opposed to Haute Couture, which is loftier, more elitist, all made to order and hand made, whereas the ready to wear clothes are mass produced, and Chanel is at the very high end of the ready to wear market)—but one of the things that makes the show special and different is the lengths they go to with the setting and decor. They go ALL OUT and spend millions to make the setting and backdrop of the show an event you will never forget. One year, they had a giant, and I mean GIANT, like 30 feet high maybe, gold lion center stage, with the models coming out of its mouth and onto the runway. The one that I will never forget was when they flew in a small iceberg from Sweden, put it in the middle of the Grand Palais, a fabulous glass palace where they hold their shows—–the models walked around the iceberg, the room was freezing to preserve the iceberg, and after the show, it was flown back to Sweden, and set back down in its natural habitat. Last year, Chanel created a “supermarket”, an extraordinary replica of one, with real food in it, and where the models strode around with shopping carts, wearing gorgeous mostly casual clothes, to show the collection. I was sooooo excited by the fun setting that I hardly noticed the clothes, I wasn’t sure where to look or what to watch, the beautiful clothes, or the amazing setting where the groceries had fun names. This time, the setting was still the Grand Palais, which had been transformed into the Brasserie Gabrielle, —-a brasserie is like a bistro, an informal restaurant, and it looked like a real restaurant. As you entered, there was a bar, where coffee, orange juice and croissants were being served. Then you made your way to your assigned seat (with your name on it). And there were tables set up for both male and female models wearing the collection, on the other side of the runway, while waiters waited to take their ‘orders’, as part of the staging. By comparison, Balenciaga who had one of the most beautiful shows of the season clothes-wise, did their show in a half finished construction site, and Celine did their show on the courts of a tennis club. But Chanel doesn’t do things by half. They go ALLLL OUTTTT, and they sure did with the bistro setting today!!!
Everything at Chanel is bigger, better, and more. Most shows these days consist of 35 to 50 ‘looks'(outfits). Chanel presented 97 looks, as they always do, worn by 97 models, twice what anyone else had. And two thousand people attended the show, and beg to do so. It’s by invitation only, and people plead for those invitations. We got a gift bag at the end, which we always do, usually with a perfume, or make up. This time, we were given little bags that contained 5 beautiful new lipsticks, all in shades I like!!
The clothes themselves were beautiful and elegant, some of them quite elaborate, with many layered looks, and lots of sequins and sparkles. Chanel has gone very sparkly in the last few years, which their customers seem to love. I’m a little less of a sparkly-person, but as far as those things go, it was best in show. The audience lapped it up, as the models pounded down the runway, looking very tall, very serious and beautifully dressed. It is always a show worth going to, and they didn’t let us down. They never do!! I loved it, and had a ball going to the show.
I had a great Fashion Week in Paris, going to the 3 shows I went to, which were totally different and distinct: the stunning elegance of Balenciaga, followed by the casual chic of the show by Celine, and then Chanel which pulled out all the stops, as always. And best of all, Chanel is designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the designer who is a genius, and not only designs Chanel, but also Fendi and his own line, as well as a sideline in photography—-all very impressive, but even more so when you know that he is in his mid-80s and is a creative genius, with unlimited energy who still sets style trends in fashion around the world. He is a TRULY remarkable person, and it’s a thrill to see what he designs, always fresh, young, exciting, and totally in tune with the modern world, and he sets the trends that other designers follow. He is an inspiration to anyone creative, and fills me with admiration that he is so productive in his field. He comes out at the end of the show, a handsome man, with a white pony tail, tied with a black ribbon, high starched white collar, long black coat, leather pants and boots, black leather gloves and dark glasses, and waves to his admiring fans. And as always, this time, it was a great, great show. And a fun fashion week for me!! I can hardly wait to see what surprises the designers have in store next season…..attending the fashion shows during fashion week is always a privilege and a treat for me!!! Have a great week!!!