Chanel’s IRL shows are legendary… The sets are beyond epic. Pharell Williams has walked the runway. For Autumn 2014, the Grand Palais was transformed into a supermarket with fully stocked shelves where you could help yourself to the fruit and veg (although security guards stopped you from taking double C branded groceries.) This one time, an actual rocket took off at the end of the catwalk. Gigi Hadid marched a gate-crasher off the runway like the chicest bouncer you’ve ever seen.
But how can you recreate that magic with a digital presentation? Some designers have simply recorded a video of their catwalk, some present their collection in a box with fabric swatches and patterns to cut out. Others create epic mini movies to get their message across. The ever chic Chanel pared it back to make it relevant and real.
As a countdown clock ticked away the seconds until the show started this morning, Chanel’s cast of ambassadors hung out (individually) in a white studio, doing exactly the same as we were at home. Waiting. Wondering if we had time to get a coffee. Tutting that we were ready on time. Models tapped on the screen asking if we could hear them (been there) or muttered, “Is this thing on?” (done that.) Caroline de Maigret sat in a robe with her hair in a towel turban. G-Dragon danced. Michel Gaubert DJ’d.
And then, the ‘show’ began on the back alleys of Paris with models using the street as their catwalk (proving that the essence of street style is not dead) before heading into the underground lair of Castel – a private club that, since the Sixties, has hosted le beau monde of Paris.
The models – all with inky black eyeliner, and many with straight ironed hair and super-sharp fringes – left their outwear at the coat check (no way would I check-in one of the lush tweed double breasted great coats that appeared in the show) before heading up and downstairs, touching up their own make-up and generally inspiring our long neglected Out Out outfit planning.
A kitsch crystal-encrusted garter is likely to become an Instagram icon as will the slouchy grey denim jeans scattered with double C logos, like the tights that have been all over your feed this year. An iridescent sequin slip dress shimmered across the room while a golden leather trench coat would be ideal outerwear for cheering up grey autumn days. The slouchy oversized tweed coats would be the ultimate option – and more pragmatic – to wrap up in when we are back on the commute while neat classic Chanel-style jackets came in curly black fake fur with pink trim.
There were logo’d dungarees and salopettes for skiwear. Creative Director Virginie Viard said she was inspired by “the ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now.” Sequin ballet flats, sheepskin covered boots and ingenious puffer boots that unzip to reveal silver booties “for dancing in” would all be desirable and practical additions to your dream wardrobe this Autumn.
See every look right here…