Chanel FW'19: The Beat Goes On
Year after year, and under the care of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel consistently hosts the grandest shows each season. From the supermart presentation in the Fall/Winter 2014 collection to the beach getaway in his penultimate Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Lagerfeld never fails to amaze those that count themselves lucky enough to be present. The Fall/Winter 2019 collection is no exception, even as it draws a close to his exceptional career. The stage is set, and a Tyrolean village of 12 Alpine chalets are to be Lagerfeld’s swansong. The sky blue backdrop of Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2019 runway serves as a perfect foil for every chalet, each featuring carved shutters, lace curtains and wooden balconies. Each seat features an illustration of Karl Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel, inscribed with the words ‘The beat goes on’. In other words, this picture-perfect scene is a celebration of the man himself.
With the gentle twinkling of sleigh bells, a hush of expectation descends upon those seated. A voiceover of Karl Lagerfeld plays, and models assemble at the Chanel Gardenia. Led by Cara Delevingne who is adorned in a classic black-and-white tweed twinset, with matching hat and a houndstooth coat, the show kicks off with Lagerfeld’s most celebrated models and muses. In his final showcase, Karl Lagerfeld references the 1980s power-dressing silhouette which he perfected then, in addition to his favoured monochromatic themes. By now, the runway is awash with distinctive Lagerfeld touches — tweed tailored blazer jackets, wide-pleated trousers and tweed skirt suits, and even braided pocket patches overlaid on more conventional ski outfits. Splashes of coloured fabric paint the runway in teal, hot pink, bright red and turquoise. A standout piece is a tri-coloured zip-up ski suit in tweed.
Lagerfeld never disappoints with accessories either, and he surprises us again with a literal and witty interpretation of his vision. Consistent with the theme, Chanel bags now come in the shape of Ski Gondolas, embellished with the signature double C clasp. Statement necklaces are shaped like snowflakes, and bandanas are adorned with grommet-studs. The platform hikers come in both black and white; while the snowboot alternative features reassuringly chunky studded soles and shearling uppers with intricate pearl adornments around the cuff.
Emotion amongst the audience and even models is apparent, and show-closer Penelope Cruz walks down the runway adorned in a white layered snowball dress and a 1980s-style faux fur puffy skirt, ending the show on a 'white' note.