2009 May 15
Cruising in Venice
(NEW YORK) Karl Lagerfeld certainly knows how to put on a cruise show, whether it’s poolside in Miami or at an airplane hangar in Santa Monica (complete with models deplaning to walk the runway). For Chanel's Resort 2010 collection, Lagerfeld refused to let that nagging little economy issue bring him down, staging a luxurious sunset show on the banks of the Lido in Venice where Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel frequently visited in the 1930s. Over the course of three weeks, 10 tons of sand were brought to the venue to level the beach, while custom Chanel cane furniture, bamboo, banana trees, and 300 peonies and hydrangeas were transported by boat. The runway was made of 150 meters of natural wooden slats to simulate a boardwalk. Guests were seated in 38 vintage changing room cabins, which were covered with beige canvas and equipped with sound and light.
As far as the clothes went, Lagerfeld hit all the right notes of gothic glamour, preppy nauticalism, and even a few traces of the gilded aesthetic of his Paris-Moscou pre-fall collection. The spectacle opened with a barefoot, black maillot-clad Tanya D. swinging a cloak---Lagerfeld's signature drame coupled with the levity of the occasion where these looks will eventually be worn. The shades-on-a-stick fetish was a deliberate riff on Venetian masks. Next up? All things nautical, from sailor stripes to boatnecks and high-waisted pants. The daywear gave way to more glamorous pieces in the form of dresses rendered in gold and deep reds. Those tweed suits abounded, as always; same goes for relatively straightforward gowns. But a lace-trimmed bicycle short introduced the icing on this delectable collection--a stretch of lacy gowns in red, white and black that reminded the front row that at Chanel, it's always about renaissance.
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