Chanel S/S16
Chanel S/S16

Talk about your crowded airports!

Paris’ Grande Palais is, I’m guessing, making a fair amount of their annual budget off Karl Lagerfeld coming in and using the spacious facility to create his large and opulent displays. This season, he created an entire airport terminal; if airport terminals came with grandstand seating, that is. Chanel is the only show of the season that has a nose-bleed section in its bleachers. The set came complete with ticket check-in counters, where guests exchanged their ticket-like invitations for packets full of samples and coupons, and were then assigned a boarding pass/seat location. In many ways, this set is considerably less involved than last season’s bistro, but it is still quite impressive nonetheless.

Probably the most important thing to come from this show is the introduction of Chanel roller bags. The quilted-style handbag sits nicely atop the carry-on luggage and screams, “I belong to a rich person, steal me.” While security experts have long warned against toting such obvious displays of wealth through international airports, some people just can’t resist the urge to show off. If you’re going to pull one of these on your next flight, don’t let it out of your sight.

As for the rest of the collection, there’s not a lot of change from previous seasons. The double-breasted tweed jumper starting the show is new, but plays strongly off traditional house silhouettes, as does most everything else. So, there are a lot of tweed suits, many of which were adorned with identically patterned ball caps worn backward; there’s a nice cross-culture mix for you. There is a heavy use of modified chevron patterns with red, white, and blue piping, airline style, which is appropriate for the theme. There is a knit airplane pattern that’s cute if one is into that sort of thing, but the head-t0-toe look can be a bit much, which might be said of several of the looks.

We again see a lot of layering, particularly multiple sweaters, one around the shoulders and one around the waist. There are pants under a lot of the skirts, some of which are little more than glorified sweats. We also see a fair amount of ruffles and pleats, the most interesting being done with shimmering metallic fabrics on bottom and tweed jackets on top.

Lagerfeld is most interesting, though, when he reaches out of the house standard and plays with things such as a watercolor print, or a very futuristic piece done with black mesh. There aren’t too many of these looks, which is rather sad. I doubt anyone would be too terribly opposed to Karl pushing some of these newer concepts a bit further.

Accessories are always a big thing, of course, and this season it is the sunglasses that look like sleep masks and the Birkenstock sandals that light up because you never really stopped enjoying the light up shoes you had when you were three-years-old. There are also driving gloves done in a metallic silver that accompany several of the looks. These don’t really have anything to do with flying, but are modified versions of the gloves Lagerfeld wears all the time.

The finale walk this season was a bit boring, with models simply returning en masse, as though getting off an incoming flight. Lagerfeld made the rounds holding hand of his godson and accompanied by former-model-now-actress (cough, cough, sputter, choke) Cara Delevigne. If Cara ever looked totally out of place, this was it.

So ends another amazing display of how far Karl Lagerfeld is willing to go to sell clothes. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and with a huge collection like this almost every woman is likely to find something that works for them. Just use caution when wearing them through a real airport.

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