For the Chanel Spring 2016 show creative director Karl Lagerfeld installed a pristine, state-of-the-art Chanel Airlines terminal under the dome of the Grand Palais. The departures board heralded flights to the cities of Chanel events – Shanghai, Dubai, Salzburg, New York, the upcoming London and Rome.
For the collection Lagerfeld took something from the reality of today’s populist air travel: diversity. Models came rapidly from all directions dressed in tweeds that weren’t really tweeds but embroideries on suits that, with nary a braid or button in sight, looked unmistakably Chanel. Lagerfeld had the Chanel traditional braiding photographed, and the photos laminated to silicon, which he used as edging on skirts to smart, modernist effect.
Many of the suits came in bold renditions of ode-to-Air-France red, white and blue. The key ideas: long and lean, long with a full, release-pleated skirt, and a lavender beauty with giant lapels and black bow closure. There were flashy prints, often in voluminous skirt-over-pants pairings, and sleek, ladified coats worn with matching bags and Coco boaters.
As for the accessories, sporty sandals with embedded LED bulbs provided personal floor lights. And Chanel Air luggage in black aluminum was offered in two-and-three-piece wheelies.