5 Times Karl Lagerfeld Said Vive la France and Showed Chanel Resort at Home
Karl Lagerfeld never met a passport stamp or private plane he didn’t like. The designer is a globe-trotter in every sense of the term, jetting off from his home base in Paris whenever he can (with Choupette and plenty of Diet Coke in tow, of course). This explains a lot about most of his pre-season shows for Chanel in recent years. He’s set up camellia-bedecked runways on the streets of Havana and Seoul. For Resort 2015, he enticed editors and buyers to attend a glitzy show in Dubai and earlier in 2014, the Chanel crew flocked to Singapore.
Everyone knows that the idea of spectacle underscores Lagerfeld’s Chanel no matter the season or theme, be it grocery store or space station. The pre-season collections, which by definition denote a holiday wardrobe, tend to go a few steps further than the rest. But that’s not to say the designer doesn’t love and appreciate the birthplace of the brand. In fact, some of his most memorable cruise shows have taken place in Mademoiselle Chanel’s home base of France.
Today, Lagerfeld will show the Chanel Cruise 2018 show in the heart of Paris at the Grand Palais. After several resort seasons abroad, it’s refreshing to see him embracing a vive la France type of attitude again. Below, here’s a rundown of what to expect from the designer this resort season and a look back at his most categorically French cruise shows—no passport or travel bag for Choupette needed.
Cruise 2018 at The Grand Palais in Paris
This season, Lagerfeld will present his Chanel Cruise collection, which is titled “The Modernity of Antiquity,” in a familiar location inside the Grand Palais (where he presents his ready-to-wear). The show will take place in the Galerie Courbe, a rotunda space with a skylight. It was in this gallery that he put on one of his most talked about shows—the Paris Bombay Pre-Fall 2012 collection that brought cultures and cuisines together on two long, richly decorated banquet tables flanking the runway.
Staged on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, Lagerfeld’s Resort 2013 show for Chanel took a year to plan and execute. According to our review, the designer called it “Versailles in a Socialist France,” as the timing happened to be right after a major presidential election that turned the country’s leadership from right to left and put François Hollande into power. The clothes riffed on Marie Antoinette’s signature style, with pretty pastel dresses, playful denim separates, and brightly colored wigs.
Leave it to Lagerfeld to take his Chanel showgoers on a trip to what has been called one of the world’s priciest hotels. The collection was inspired by Old Hollywood frequenters of the the French Riviera’s Hotel du Cap—tweed suits in bright yellow were followed by old-school tennis whites and swimwear fit for a 1950s-era bombshell.
Choosing St.-Tropez as the location for a Chanel cruise collection was a no-brainer, as its stylish cachet pairs well with that of the Parisian fashion label. The Resort 2011 lineup was decidedly bohemian and Bardot-ian, too, as Lagerfeld showed his breezy caftan-stocked lineup on barefoot models strolling down a harbor filled with mega yachts.
Resort 2006 in Paris
Talk about a fashion trek: In 2006, Lagerfeld sent his Chanel show invitees on a bus ride around the city. Several big green buses left from the Place de la Concorde and transported guests through Paris. The buses would stop occasionally so that models could switch vehicles and the designer could hop on board each one and explain his military-inspired ensembles to the riders.
This story originally appeared on Vogue.
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