Chanel Cruise 2017-2018

At the beginning, Lagerfeld put a sustained emphasis on tailoring—a neglected art in womenswear these days. The Chanel suit, in myriad candy colors—mint, checkered pink, peach, lavender, yellow—got an emphatic shoulder and a wide, contrasting belt; un peu ’80s, perhaps (that decade, after all, is being referenced everywhere). From then on, it was all about silver sparkle and silhouette—the segue being an elegant narrow, ankle-length beige checked coat, subtly flecked with glitter and finished with an iridescent sequined collar and cuffs.

As the show progressed into evening, slim, elgonated lines alternated with pretty ballerina-length crinoline skirts—and the silver sparkle showcased the maximum capabilities of the Lesage embroiderers. Here came Lagerfeld’s feather obsession; poufs of peach ostrich and marabou trimmed the hems and sleeves of glittering columns—indeed, with the spontaneous air of doodles dashed off his sketch pad. Couture is at its best, always, when it wears the fruits of its labors lightly. When a dove gray chiffon crinoline with individual white feathers wispily hand-sewn to it by the thousand passed by, it somehow managed to outshine all its sparkling sisters.

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