Karl Lagerfeld keeps coming up with new and interesting ways to reimagine the space at the Grand Palais. This season he turned Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2016 runway show into a chic airport terminal—supermodels bustled through the boarding area with their sleek carry-ons, wearing everything from easy wrap travel coats to multi-layered, form-fitting skirt suits. It was an elevated look at the gloss and glamour of French travel. “It’s the idea of how it should look!” Lagerfeld explained before the presentation.
Amid calls for final boarding and pages for ticketed passengers, Karl’s airport moved like a well-oiled machine. The departures board included Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore—all cities where Chanel shows have been held. Male flight attendants were handsomely suited up and ticket agents were smartly dressed in Chanel’s double-C insignia. Models moved smoothly through the Chanel Airlines terminal on their way to some exotic (but undeniably fashionable) destination.
There were no oversized wraps or sweatpants here. For Lagerfeld, who once announced that “sweatpants are a sign of defeat,” comfortable travel meant wrap coats, belted caftans and easy-fit pantsuits (but baseball caps and dad sandals with socks were fair game). To give the collection a more modern feel, Lagerfeld used new techniques to recreate iconic Chanel looks. Instead of traditional tweed, jackets and skirts were embroidered to emulate the fabric; traditional braided trim was photographed and then the images transferred to silicon and used as edging.
Prints were bold and daring. A French palette of white, blue and red were heavily used in the beginning of the show, which slowly gave way to more brilliant shades, including Lagerfeld’s rainbow-painted patterns, made popular in Spring 2014. Silver made its way through the collection on shoes, accessories, jewelry and at one point, an entire suit. Standouts pieces included a pink iridescent line that was pleasantly reminiscent of an ‘80s Barbie doll, a series of red, white and blue cross-hatched skirts and dresses, and a few relaxed-looking knit separates that seemed as if they were actually made for travel.