Dispatches from Paris: Chanel

Mr Lagerfeld’s fantasy vision of travel

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‘Because everybody is travelling today,’ explained Karl Lagerfeld of this morning’s show set. Picture Chanel Airlines, an airport like no other. It was the next ready-to-wear installment, following the Chanel Supermarket and the Chanel Brasserie: ‘Somewhere boring, everyday, real life, real clothes, but all of it exceptional because it is Chanel,’ offered Karl.

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Suffice it to say, no other airport in the world is as gleamingly spectacular, nor its passengers as chic. Flight attendants in navy and red manned the check in desks with smiles! Digital flight boards showed all destinations, from New York to Seoul, running on time! Models entered from Gate No 5, of course, wheeling suitcases in pristine white quilted leather.

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Mr Lagerfeld’s fantasy vision of travel in the 21st century was about freedom and futurism for all Chanel customers, be they 19 or 90: the freedom to go anywhere in the world, dressed any way you like, in everything from the house’s traditional tweed suits to the world’s most glamorous tracksuits, featuring a new motif of red and white airplanes on repeat. The bourgeois brigade in pearlised grey, white and pink; the boho travellers in fluid long dresses baring the double C logo; the natty city slickers in bold checks and boater hats; the cool kids in their sweatshirts and baseball caps; the jet-set, off to a grand party on their private jets done up to the nines in immaculate evening wear, all frothy, light and elegant. As ever, the clothes ran the full gamut of Chanelification.

 
And because Mr Lagerfeld wanted his passengers to be able to get to their destinations fast, he gave them practical footwear. Silver block-heeled platforms or flat sandals with thick soles embedded with LED lights. ‘You know why I did that?’ he asked, ‘Because it’s very useful. I see people on planes all the time trying to find their seats in the dark, using their phones to light their way. No need for that if your shoes can do it, huh?’ The luggage may not have been the type that would survive being tossed onto your average carrousel – fit for only private carry-on air travel – but the bags, often slung on two at a time, demonstrated the brand’s power to produce what seemed like a zillion travel-appropriate options.

 
‘Cuba!’ said Mr Lagerfeld when asked where he would jet off to if the Chanel Airline were fully operational.

A clue, perhaps, as to where Chanel might show its next fashion extravaganza…