On Monday, May 9, the illustrious Karl Lagerfeld brought the Chanel 2011-12 Cruise Collection and his short film, The Tale of a Fairy, to the legendary Eden-Roc Hotel just down the Riviera from Cap d’Antibes. The mythical hotel was host to a bevy of the world’s fashionable elite who all came to catch a glimpse of Lagerfeld’s latest work, a stunningly elegant collection evocative of the glamour of the 1950s’ French Riviera.
VIPs took the front row as the models strolled the pine tree-lined runway, including Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover, Chanel ambassadresses Anna Mouglalis, Blake Lively, and Vanessa Paradis, actresses Clémence Poésy, Marine Vacth, and Rachel Bilson, in addition to Laura Bailey, Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne, and Caroline Sieber.
The sophisticated collection embraced an elegant marriage between masculine and feminine, elements of day and night, Chanel High Jewellry, and trompe l’oeil embroideries as the ethereal models showcased the magnificent pieces. Lagerfeld’s latest creations include tweed suits with slim silhouettes and long skirts reminiscent of vintage Hollywood allure, jackets that struck a very masculine-feminine spirit, men’s cotton shirts grafted under chiffon blouses and nonchalantly paired with fluid trousers, and monochrome swimsuits inspired by the 1930s that included striking features like tuxedo effects, jeweled belts, and two-tone ponchos inspired by modern art. To embody the chic Riviera, some jackets also featured terry-toweling and fine mesh fabrics.
The cocktail looks emphasized the freshness of youth with flowers embroidered by Lesage, bloom on strapless ensembles, constructivist triangle motifs of multicolored leather, and fluid-like silk made to be second skins. The looks were beautifully finished off by the iconic Chanel embellishments of pearl and diamond Chanel Fine Jewellry. Accessories also embraced a duality of roles by inventing a new genre of footwear – hybrids between flip-flops, strappy heels, and soft, Amazonian boots. Discrete bags were designed to leave the hands free and incorporate playful elements such as a tomboy feel or a mini quilted vanity case resembling an icebox.