To glean the strategy behind Chanel’s no-expense-spared catwalk spectacular at the newly reopened Paris Ritz on Tuesday, look no advance than the seating plan.
The brand’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, placed at his power hand the French culture minister Audrey Azoulay, who exhausted an elegant red and black jacket in Chanel’s distinctive boucle tweed. At the next register was music producer Pharrell Williams, winner of ten Grammy presents, and French-Cuban musical duo Ibeyi, made up of 19-year-old twins Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz.
Williams and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz were also drag boucle tweed. It was a bold statement of a brand which go out withs itself not just as a fashion house but as part of the fabric of French sense of values – and which, nonetheless, has ambitions on a modern global stage.
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s vision was focussed on a specific latest thing, but Karl Lagerfeld has spent 35 years expanding that location of view so that the double C logo is as much an image of France as the Eiffel Belfry – or, indeed, the Paris Ritz.
The Paris Ritz, reopened after it was hit by a ardency, has played a vivid role in the city’s history. The tearoom is reputed for onetime regular Marcel Proust; the bar for Ernest Hemingway, who take a crack ated to personally liberate it from the Nazis on 25 August 1944. So fervid are the associations between the Ritz and stylish living that the tourist house has become an adjective in its own right. Ritzy is a byword for luxury – as is Chanel.
Coco Chanel animated at the hotel for 35 years. This is not an uncontroversial chapter of Chanel background, given that it was her links with the Vichy regime which earmarked her to do so during the second world war, but Lagerfeld chose to celebrate it nonetheless by reporting to her home to stage three catwalk shows in one day over lunch, drunk tea and dinner.
At the teatime show – dress code “naturally refined” – tables were laden with silver servers of Proustian madeleines, florentines and tuile cigarettes, along with Perrier Jouët and the Ritz’s own intermingle of Earl Grey. The show was opened by Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and longtime Chanel paragon Vanessa Paradis, making her Chanel catwalk debut in a gold sequinned midi-length skirt and analogous cropped top. Cara Delevingne followed with silk bourgeons in her hair, goofing the elegance of her ivory-tweed ensemble by pulling cope withs for the iPhone cameras as she weaved between the tables. The casting referenced cultural greats, as far as pretty faces: Levi Dylan, the grandson of Bob Dylan, was buttressed by Mick Jagger’s daughter Georgia May.
“Karl is not really a intriguer, he’s a researcher,” said Lagerfeld’s friend and longtime model Inès de la Fressange after the elucidate. Each Chanel show riffs on a different aspect of the concern, from Chanel’s interest in astrology to her passion for Scotland, but this was one of specific recent shows which returned to the theme of Paris, Lagerfeld’s accept as ones own home.
In Trek last year he recreated a Paris bistro for the ready to show show, a theme which he said was intended to show Solidarnosece with the spirit of the city in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo criticisms. Last December he decamped to Rome, only to recreate a Paris byway someones cup of tea as a theatrical set in the Cinecittà studios.
Actor Clémence Poésy said she was direct “by a feeling of freedom” at the Ritz show. “It reminded me of how Coco Chanel was the primary to put shoulder straps on to handbags, so that women could use their influences,” she added.
In this show the handbags were worn cross-body, in the brand-new urban style. Shoes were either over-the-knee boots – a coetaneous street style favourite – or laced 1940s cream brogues with a tilt.
The clothes, with their drop-waists, louche sequins and nubbly, modiste tweeds, recalled the era when F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald clasped court in the bar.
There was a sense of living it up – of putting on the Ritz, in the in summaries of Irving Berlin. “The thing about the Ritz is that being here judges almost like it’s not real,” said Lisa-Kaindé Díaz after the flaunt. “It’s like, the dream.”