Chanel was great because there were lots of clothes. Hear me out - less dresses and formal jackets meant loads of super wearable separates; lots of fun jumpers, trousers, skirts, caps, hoodies, you name it. There was a genuinely youthful guise to the collection; comfortable layered looks that you could even – shock horror – catch a plane in. And, we’re talking long haul.
Ah yes, the airport. This was not the first time that Chanel has headed for the skies, following on from the house’s couture collection from Spring/Summer 2012. However, if the first time round was about the perfection of buttoned up air hostesses, this season was about the super chic, if sometimes undone, passenger. Models wheeled on Chanel luggage, and whizzed around a departure lounge. Selected magazine editors sat amongst the action, as if they too were waiting to board a flight. There were some cute extra moments; with boarding staff giving out press releases from behind counters and doormen wearing Chanel Airways badges. Timing-wise, you just couldn’t make it up – Air France employees are ripping the shirt of their HR director’s back, the day that Karl Lagerfeld brings us Chanel Airways. Tasteless timing, but hey, you can’t predict news. There was a hell of a lot of print, tweed and knitwear Tricolore combos, in red, white and blue, in this collection. Chanel was waving the French flag with pride, regardless of which side of the social debate you’re on.
Models wore their hair in ‘le double catogan’, a low slung pair of pigtails fastened at the nape of the neck with a silver slide. The footwear was irreverent, space age – and postmodern gimmicky. Perspex and silver ankle boots put our girls way above 30,000 feet, whilst shoes with light up soles were like runway lights showing us the way (yes, these were runway shoes on a runway). Mid-calf circle skirts worn with jackets and open panniers worn with wide legged trousers were the two variants of the most prevalent silhouette.
One of the main mise-en-scène coups was a departure screen that stood in the middle of the runway, with real time flights leaving. Although the destinations were scattered all over the world, the ethnic diversity was not matched in the airport. This wasn’t any old departure lounge, this was a departure lounge featuring 90% caucasians.