Held in a faux airplane complete with a carpeted aisle and window seats, the runway show featured plenty of short-sleeve, sky blue dresses that recalled vintage airplane uniforms, was this “Pan Am”, “B.O.A.C.” , and it certainly was not the Concorde as the aisles would have to be really narrow. Present where naturally the Karl fan club. Despite last week’s media frenzy over her supposed split from Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis braved the paparazzi cameras at today’s Chanel Couture show. Wearing a slinky silver satin dress under a black jacket, the actress, model and longtime Chanel muse joined Paris’ chicest women for Karl Lagerfeld’s couture presentation.
Despite Karl Lagerfeld’s public image as a peacock who takes himself rather too seriously, he never forgets that fashion should be fun. With a rudderless Dior currently sleepwalking through the seasons and most haute couture salons seemingly content to produce beautiful but rather po-faced homages to couture workmanship, Chanel is the unrivalled hot ticket of the schedule.
This show was first-class. The audience were welcomed aboard at the entrance of the Grand Palais and led through a fake airport terminal of articulated metal corridors into the interior of a jumbo jet, complete with airline seating, low-level lighting and blue skies visible through the small windows. Instead of gilt chairs with calligraphed labels, there were slender airline style seats with electronic numbering, either side of a wide aisle. Champagne was served from a trolley wheeled along a carpet dotted with a discreet double-C logo.
The extravagant attention to detail on the set is not just a gimmick, but serves a commercial purpose of sorts – reminding the audience that the core value of Chanel haute couture is the pursuit of perfection with no heed to the cost. Yes, in Paris the magic of Coco is still present in the land of fashion where magic is real and as Coco herself proved it dreams come true.