Cruise collections seem to be a designer’s excuse to go totally O.T.T. And with the top fashion houses it seems to be a competition of whose show can be the biggest and in the best location. Last year, Dior shook their scene up completely by crossing the world to present their Western-influenced collection in the Santa Monica Nature Reserve as the sun was setting (sounds romantic, huh?). Louis Vuitton’s collection was essentially a party thrown in the street in Kyoto, Japan (umm…where was my invite?) Karl Lagerfeld opted for a ‘stay-cation’ for Chanel and transformed the Grand Palais in Paris into Ancient Greek ruins. Surely this can’t be topped, even by Lagerfeld, the master of creativity?
You would have thought this was the case but somehow the 2019 Chanel cruise collection has managed to surpass last year’s offering. Yes, you heard it. Lagerfeld has been able to ‘take one more step’ than transporting us to a different time and place.
Whilst this seems impossible thus years cruise collection was more spectacular than ever. Lagerfeld is renowned for the creation of truly spectacular scenes to accompany the equally exquisite clothing. Do you remember the rocket from the A/W 17 show in Paris? Or the Chanel supermarket that was created for the A/W 14/15 show in Paris? Well for Chanel’s nautical inspired 2019 cruise collection a gigantic ship provided the setting.
Lagerfeld has been renowned for his creative ideas with past concepts for shows involving rockets and supermarkets.
As models strutted down the runway in garments that screamed ‘NAUTICAL!’ such as white tights and boat prints the ship stood strongly in the background, placing a literal interpretation on the fact that this was a ‘cruise collection’ whilst fog horns seagulls and creaking ropes were used as sound effects to create an authentic atmosphere.
Lily-Rose Depp said:
‘It’s amazing, but it doesn’t surprise me. Kat, every time it’s something so different and elevated. It really makes Karl’s incredible imagination come to life’
This shows that that whilst Lagerfeld’s shows are truly spectacular, it is something that we have come to expect of him. Even if you’re not a fan of Lagerfeld or Chanel you have to give him an 11 out of 10 for effort. If Chanel were a person it would actually be that friend who rocks up to a fancy dress party in a killer costume that took months to make, leaving everyone else, in their last minute panic buys, a little red-faced. Let’s be honest the sets dreamt up by Lagerfeld are the definition of extra.
But what was really special about the tremendous boat was the nod made to its founder, Coco Chanel. The ship, that took two months to build and can have 100 people on board, is named ‘La Pausa’ after a house designed and built by Chanel. And though you wouldn’t instantly associate Coco Chanel with nautical style, the nautical theme running throughout the clothing is another association with the founder of this luxury fashion brand. Whilst nautical style was brought to land as far back as 1778 when Parisian women wore a replica of a ship in their hair, Chanel’s first boutique opened in 1913 in a village called Deauville in Normandy, rather than in the fashion central of Paris. This was because it was the perfect spot for her debut style, such as the ‘sailor blouse’ and ‘chandail’ long line sweater which was traditionally worn by fishermen. This also showed how Chanel was one of the first designers to realise the importance of holiday wear by designing clothes to be worn in a seaside location, rather than a fashion capital. Chanel can be viewed as one of the first advocates, of what, in the future, would become known as the Cruise collection.
Not only did the ship perfectly compliment the nautical theme but was a (huge) nod to founder Coco Chanel.
Why is it then, that cruise collections are more prevalent today than they ever were? Whilst cruise collections used to be designed with a specific consumer in mind; those that could jet off to other countries and therefore needed holiday clothing, their appeal has become increasingly more widespread. Fashion houses and retailers have moved their focus away from just holiday wear as they’ve realised that the cruise collection is extremely commercial. Due to the time at which the cruise collections drop there’s a longer selling window than with traditional seasons.
Karl Lagerfeld is really a designer who has got the cruise collection right, putting in as much effort as with the traditional Chanel shows. This year’s collection was truly harmonious, with each aspect of the collection, from the clothing to the scenery, linking together beautifully. It’s like each concept of the collection is a puzzle piece and they fit together to form an amazing overall image. Each detail, such as the name of the boat, was carefully thought out to coincide with the nautical theme and the origins of the house’s founder. There are many opinions about fashion shows and the fact that it’s not just about the clothing but every aspect such as the lighting, scenery and music pulling everything together. With the 2019 Cruise collection, Lagerfeld successfully created a seamless experience. With his reputation for being a connoisseur of creativity, it’s exciting to see what’s next on the cards for Chanel.
Lagerfeld created a beautiful show that was in perfect harmony.
What do you think? Did you like the collection or was it just way too extra? What do you think Lagerfield’s next move will be? How important are other aspects of a fashion show such assets and scenery? Let us know!
Text: Chaz Pond
Images: Getty Images Reuters, Getty/ Stephanie Cardinale Corbis, Chanel, Getty / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff