Cruise collections (or, if you’re so inclined, resort collections) are an interesting thing. They’re in stores longer than any other collection, and contain many of the practical pieces that help brands bring in big bucks. However, like pre-fall, they’re “in between” collections that most houses don’t think warrant an all-out runway show. Small presentations, or often just lookbooks, herald the arrival of what are in many ways the biggest collections of the year. But if there is one designer that understands the importance of cruise, it’s Karl Lagerfeld.
His Chanel cruise shows are nothing short of epic. While he’s confined (if you can call it that) to showing his fall and spring collections in Paris, he takes the opportunity to stage elaborate cruise shows in far-flung and magnificent locales — St. Tropez, Venice, Miami, Grand Central, and a Santa Monica airport hangar have hosted the show in recent years. This year’s location, however, was arguably the most luxe: Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera.
The show itself took place at the Hotel du Cap, what may very well be the most expensive hotel in the world. And the clothes? Oh, the clothes. Tweed jackets over effortlessly chic maillots pretty much define the phrase “Chanel cruise” (no really, think about it), and the gowns ran the gamut from ivory lace to near-psychedelic prints. Many of the dresses were cut slim, while the pants went wide — and as is Karl’s way, he managed to create a fresh-looking collection and still incorporate so many of the house’s codes (camelias, pearls, tweed).
We were excited to see Kristen McMenamy trot down the runway, and the sight of Baptiste Giabiconi in a turban (!) made us giggle, but what was with the footwear? The slightly-heeled sandals that many of the models wore were chic, but the baggy boot/flip flop/spat creations that adorned the others’ feet were a bit odd. Then again, if there’s anyone who can ignite a baggy boot/flip flop/spat revolution, it’s Karl.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.