Chanel puts on the Ritz at Paris fashion show, Delevingne makes runway comeback
Pillbox hats with netted veils, long sweaters and scarves, tweed suits glittering with inlay and pearls aplenty, you half expected Mademoiselle Chanel to appear for afternoon tea with one of her aristocratic lovers.
The designer spent a large part of her life living in a suite in the Ritz hotel, including most controversially during World War II, when a German intelligence officer, Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage, shared her bed.
But designer Karl Lagerfeld, who has rarely echoed her style more in his three decades at the helm of her label, preferred to concentrate on the happier, more frivolous times.
Models rarely smile on the Paris catwalk, but here they positively beamed as they skipped between the tables of its tearoom to the strains of Putting on the Ritz, occasionally falling into the arms of a beau in tails.
"The Ritz is very Paris, but men and women from all over the world come here, so it is a temple of cosmopolitan elegance," Lagerfeld told reporters afterwards.
The annual show which celebrates the artistry of Chanel's small army of embroiderers, plumassiers and bootmakers made a few knowing nods to street style with oversized beanie hats and pedal pushers, but otherwise this was a time-machine trip through classic killer Chanel looks.
Hardly a head was not decorated with a plume, a fascinator hat or a camellia, Coco Chanel's favourite flower. With eyes peering through net veils, and flared leather black trousers with black and white tweed and leather jackets, it was the acme of 1930s elegance revisited.
Meanwhile supermodel, actress and Karl Lagerfeld protégée Cara Delevingne, who has been focusing on her movie career recently, appeared early on in the show. She first appeared in a cream tweed suit, before changing into a black and gold flamenco-style embroidered dress, twirling through the restaurant tables that served as the setting for the event.
While it was return to business as usual for Delevingne, some models, notably Lily-Rose Depp, were making their runway debut for the house. Depp, who appeared in a black gown with sheer straps and a netted headpiece before closing the show in a sequined gold crop top and skirt, has starred in several campaigns for the house and been given roles on 'stage' in previous Chanel shows, but this was undoubtedly her most important to date.
Another star who took to the catwalk for Lagerfeld was artist and Chanel collaborator Pharrell Williams, who looked dapper in a navy tweed jacket and strings of pearls. Back in May the house revealed that the musician and designer was lending a helping hand in creating pieces from the Métiers d'Art collection. Up-and-coming model Sofia Richie was also spotted on the catwalk, rocking a tweed jacket paired with a pair of metallic pedal pusher pants.
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