Chanel travels back in time for Cruise 2018 collection
Karl Lagerfeld took Chanel back in time for its 2018 Cruise collection.
Amid recreated columns of the Parthenon – which reportedly took four weeks to construct – Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais in central Paris into Ancient Greece.
The timing could not be more pertinent. As France goes to the polls to select a new president, Britain begins the process of divorcing the EU, and Trump is, well, just Trump, it can surely be no coincidence that Lagerfeld looked back to the birthplace of democracy for inspiration.
Showing once more that fashion is a litmus paper for wider political upheavals, Lagerfeld sent out 85 looks, each an homage to a culture founded on knowledge and learning.
Politics aside, the most talked-about element of the show was the magnificent gladiator sandals worn with almost every look. Laced to the knee, they came in colours ranging from gold, sand and black to a glorious coral-orange and a turquoise that glowed with sunlight.
The clothes were built around a flowing goddess shape, with drapery fit for Aphrodite. Clasped at shoulders, or cinched at ribs and hips, the fabrics billowed with decorations of laurel wreaths, delicate beading and sequins. The headbands worn by the models were matched by the ribbons of jewels and beading that encased torsos and waists, and occasioning drifted on to wrists.
Lagerfeld gave us a little slice of Greece, at its cultured and most elegant best. The gleaming golds from fabric and jewellery felt natural and even mandatory, sweeping past huge faux columns and a sand-strewn floor. After the glory of the clothes, when Lagerfeld gave his customary walk on the runway at the finale, clutching the hand of a boy dressed like a modern-day Achilles, viewers were left with a vague need to visit Greece this summer.