Chanel Cruise 2017/18 ready-to-wear runway collection at Grand Palais in Paris
Fashion

It’s All Greek To Me: Chanel Cruise 2017/18

Karl Lagerfeld transported guests from the Grand Palais to the Mediterranean with an immersive runway show
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Even at the age of 83, Karl Lagerfeld has never been one to look backwards. Fashion observers were understandably surprised, then, that the designer turned to ancient Greece for the theme of his Cruise show; doubly so that the presentation wasn’t taking place in Greece itself, given Chanel’s penchant for flying attendees to destinations as diverse as Seoul and Havana (Budget? What budget?)

It seemed that guests — among them actresses Keira Knightley and Isabelle Huppert — would have to settle for the Grand Palais’ dumpy Galerie Courbe, made up to look like the site of a ruined temple or forum. Our hearts bled in sympathy.

Lagerfeld has never claimed an interest in realism or authenticity, neatly placing himself beyond criticism of his often literal — and on occasion downright costume-y — interpretations. Aside from the mandatory boxy tweed suits and day dresses, the collection’s Greek influences manifested pretty much as one would imagine.

Draped and pleated silhouettes came in fluid jerseys or linen, and were cinched at the waist; knits bore beige and terracotta wave designs resembling those on ancient amphorae and frescoes. Raw fringe hems gave delicate embroidery a rustic, pre-industrial touch, and models, of course, stomped around in strappy sandals and Olympic laurels.

There was room aplenty within the 85 exits for goddess and shepherdess to coexist, a clever expression of the push-and-pull between Coco Chanel’s easy approach to dressing and the unmatched skill of Chanel’s ateliers.

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