Karl Lagerfeld loves the beach, the sea and the freedom of taking your shoes off to walk in the sand. So why not bring the beach to Paris as he did for his spectacular SS19 show. In the center of Paris, in the Grand Palais, Lagerfeld had his models walk along a flowing sea with real waves. They walked along with their shoes in hand, as who would want to ruin a pair of Chanel sandals. Straw hats, sunglasses and crossed over bags the models looked like they had all escaped a fabulous party at a beach house to take a walk.
Largerfeld spends his holidays in Saint Tropez and at first, we thought that the beach he had recreated was inspired from the south of France but it seems that the catwalk was inspired from the designer’s holidays as a child on the island of Sylt off the coast of Germany. A beach that Largerfeld remembers he could only access by boat and that was wild and ever-changing in the wind and tossing waves.
The collection was not a drastic change from what we would expect from Chanel however, we could sense the freedom of the beach with its bright color palette of sun yellows, sky blues, sandy beiges, and shell pinks. Chanel jackets were left open, swimsuits worn under clothing, beach ball and straw handbags swung off the shoulder, skirts were split open at the side and other pieces were light and layered.
Obviously, the Chanel woman wears big sparkly jewelry to the beach. Almost every model had large cuffs on both arms, several models had CHA and NEL hanging in large letters from each ear, layers of necklaces adorning their necks and fabulous branded belts cinched their waists even if the belts were on a bare skin. Eveningwear was the perfect black dress but textures and layers gave depth.
Gabrielle Chanel had her first clothing store by the beach in Deauville so perhaps there is no better place to wear Chanel than at the beach. In any case, Karl Lagerfeld is still expertly guiding this magnificent Maison de Mode and keeping Chanel luxury, brilliance and tradition alive and new.