By Margarita Nahapetyan
On Thursday, May 14, Karl Lagerfeld presented the Chanel Cruise collections in one of the most romantic and elegant cities of the world, the Italian city of Venice. This kind of mid-season collections have already been taking place for many years. The name, Cruise Collections, refers to the clothes that are specifically designed for the tropical season of winter holidays. At present time, they are called pre-collections to point out to the clothes that are more realistic and practical, compared to the runway collections that are being held every winter, in February and every fall, in September.
After New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Moscow and Monte Carlo, Karl Lagerfeld took Chanel's cruise show into the old-world Venetian charm. This year the catwalk took place on the beach of the recently renovated Grand Hotel Excelsior Resort on the Lido, a true dream setting and again ideal for cruise. The invitation, which had an image of Coco Chanel sitting on the Lido beach, perfectly reflected the poetic atmosphere.
"Venice has a genuine dark and mysterious side to it that fascinated me. I really like the Italian spirit and the Venetian lifestyle," said Lagerfeld, who himself was dressed in a royal blue jacket, white shirt and skinny black pants. "And let us not forget that Coco Chanel came back to Venice for ten years."
Models donning 1930s bobs, strolled down the boardwalk as guests and editors were seated on wooden deck chairs. Many different styles were spotted during the fashion show. First out was a group of pirate look-alike models who were wearing wide-brimmed hats and black capes. The gondola stripes led the way with sailor pants and cropped jackets also in sailor style. Nautical stripes also dominated the knitwear and accessories, especially the open-toe wedge boots worn with most outfits. All left a real impression of the 30s which also included flowing silk silhouettes.
Funkier styles followed including a classic Chanel bouclé suits with fringed edges, along with faded red trousers and stripy boots. There could not be any show without the Chanel's signature tweed jackets and skirts all featuring the nautical theme. The 30s theme continued and was most evidently seen in the chiffon phase, which presented the viewers with stunning dropped waists and printed silks. The lion, the emblem of Venice and Coco Chanel's birth sign, appeared as a print on flowy sepia-toned or black-and-white chiffon dresses.
The modern masks indicated the beginning of the Venetian phase where masquerade ball influences could be clearly observed. Venetian associations were presented subtly, and also included black sunglasses that looked like Venetian masks, and pant style shorts which were teamed with a gold chain belt and recalled Byzantine details. There were black lace gorgeous dresses with bows and ribbons and the grand finale, one in gold brocade and lamé. Lace, peplums, frills as well as Marchesa Casati hairdos in medieval style and black liquid murky makeup, finished off the well-rounded range and left everybody speechless.