“Storyteller: You must learn how to leave your audience in suspense.”
It seems like Karl Lagerfeld took on the role of One Thousand and One Nights’ legendary raconteur, Queen Scheherazade, in telling the story of Chanel’s 2015 Cruise Collection, which showed in Dubai on May 13th.
The collection was inspired by One Thousand and One Nights (more commonly known as the Arabian Nights), the ancient collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales that was compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age.
The event took place at the Jumeirah Beach Park; the white-sand beach that stretches along the south coast of Dubai’s historic Jumeirah district to the junction of the world-famous resort area, a reclaimed-land settlement known as the Palm Jumeriah.
It was a truly beautiful, exotic show, with every part of the event- from the lush set design to the 1001 guests, all taking ques from Dubai’s exotic setting. Instead of the regular chairs lining the runway, guests sat on plush pillows and low sofas while supermodels strutted past on a lushly carpeted runway. The whole event was imbued with the romance and mystery of the Arabic world, and Kaiser Karl most definitely delivered a mesmerizing runway show.
The clothes are beautiful- they are everything that you’ve come to expect from Chanel and more! It is an extremely well-executed collection: apart from every single piece being gorgeously detailed and constructed, the whole collection epitomizes the intrigue and opulence associated with the show’s exotic setting.
There is an abundance of luxurious flowing fabric, intricate Moorish-inspired patterns, bold and oftentimes surprising accessories (check out the gasoline-tank-shaped handbag in the picture below) and eye-catching jewelry (including hair ornaments).
This is a resort collection, so the clothing is constructed to be relaxed and easy to wear. Apart from the usual kaftans and tunics that have become resort staples, Mr. Lagerfeld incorporated peasant dresses, layered skirts, loose trousers, light jackets and sweaters into the collection. Its all easy- breezy while exuding opulence- a look that’s not easy to pull off, but is bread and butter for both the House of Chanel and the genius of Karl Lagerfeld.
I love the variety different fabrics used in this collection. Apart from the wild patterns and gauzy tulle, there were also lots of shimmery metallics, beaded silks, chunky tweed, light knitwear and creamy silks. The heavier materials like tweeds, heavy silks and knitwear, were used to make chic jackets and heavier trousers.
This collection is perfect for lovers of vintage, especially those who adore the bohemian style. The whole collection seems to be an ode to the luxurious hippies of the 1960s and 70s, with it’s loose, body-skimming shapes, sumptuous layers, ruffles and fabrics patterned in bold floral and bright geometric designs.
As bohemian chic as this collection is, this IS Chanel- so, of course, there were deconstructed versions of the House’s iconic tweed jackets and slinky shift dresses that harkened back to classic pieces from the 1930’s.
I like that there were traditional Arab inspired pieces incorporated into the collection, but modernized and revamped to accentuate the wardrobe of today’s international woman. There are examples of this throughout the collection with pieces resembling the thawab (long men’s tunic), the bisht (a traditional piece of menswear that was re-imagined into ladies’ clothing, giving inspiration for the long, heavy tunics and button-down mullet hemmed blouses that that are shown above), the shalwar kameez (two-piece outfit with a flowing tunic and precisely tailored trousers) and the sirwal (harem pants).
The jewelry shown was big, bold and Byzantine-inspired. I love it ALL!
There were layered necklaces of precious beads and pearls, elaborate knotted chokers of heavy silver beads and chunky chains, long, dangling earrings, jewel-encrusted bracelets and Byzantine crosses. Headbands, hairpins and bejeweled hairpieces were worn by all the models, with almost every headpiece carrying the symbolic crescent moon- even the quintessential Chanel ‘double C ‘ monogram was reworked into this Moorish inspired interpretation.
All in all (including those everything 60’s inspired beehive hairdos), I think that Chanel’s 2015 Cruise Collection runway presentation was justifiably, a big hit. Simply stunning, it is like a thoughtfully romantic representation of an ancient tale.
My highness Karl, what a spectacular job!