It's the journey that matters most to the house of Chanel, which chose a rail station as inspiration for its latest cruise collection, staged in Paris today.
The show was a celebration of its legacy as an outfitter for women who love to travel. A train platform, installed in the heart of the Grand Palais, was a fitting backdrop for a collection seeking to recreate the glamour and excitement of leaving the city.
The collection was the first to be designed without input from Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February. Created by Virginie Viard, formerly Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman and now the designer charged with taking to Chanel into a new chapter, the collection offered a loose, more relaxed aesthetic loaded with options for a woman planning her own great escape.
Undoubtedly benefiting from having a woman in the driving seat, Chanel took on a more feminine sensibility and a more streamlined appeal. Removing some of the complex details that had been Lagerfeld’s calling card, Viard presented wide-leg leather trousers and belted workwear jackets.
The house’s signature bouclé suits were in there too, with neat jackets in shades of violet, green and soft lilac featuring multiple patch pockets.
Historically, the cruise collection provided outfits for the aspirational customer with winter travel plans. Today’s updated version included leggings embellished with the Chanel logo — a convincing option for those who consider the departure lounge to be their catwalk. The show was a reminder that it was very much business as usual at Chanel.
Bruno Pavlovsky, its president of fashion, said: “Karl is not here but his influence remains. What we have now at Chanel is a paradox. It is the same but different.”