A model presents a creation by Chanel during the 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris, on July 3, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

Paris — the City of Light, lovelocks and the Seine River — was the backdrop Tuesday in Chanel’s sublime couture collection that showed designer Karl Lagerfeld is still at the top of his game at 84.

Penelope Cruz, Pharrell Williams and Lily Allen applauded after the cinematic runway display in which the French fashion house painstakingly recreated a Parisian cityscape — all inside the nave of the Grand Palais.

No detail was spared: from the padlocks on the famed Pont des Arts bridge to the surrounding riverside booksellers (with Chanel-themed literature), to thick city stones and the majestic domed French Academy.

But this fall-winter season, couture was the true star of the show. Here are some highlights from Tuesday’s collections.

Mirroring the nostalgic Parisian decor, Chanel’s 67 accomplished looks came in the colours of the city.

Light gray stood for zinc rooftops, almond green for historic building roofs, anthracite for roads and gold and silver — so said the programme — for “reflections of the moon in the rippling Seine.”

Pinks and mauves reflected sunrise; black and deep navy, the night. White and beige captured the French capital’s annoyingly changeable weather.

But it wasn’t just in the colour.

The myriad interlocking crystal embroideries were said to mirror cobblestones and the netted tulle that was embroidered with gold aimed to capture the lovers’ padlocks on the Pont des Arts (that were famously banned by Paris authorities).

These poetical explanations were nice but unnecessary for a collection that didn’t need any gimmicks to impress. Lagerfeld raised the bar this season — and it was the inspired sleeve silhouette that did it.

Sleeves flapped and unfurled in a unique bell shape, which was achieved thanks to an open arm zipper. It possessed a fresh sporty-meets-regal air.

The unfurling shape moved down the body into long split skirts that sported open panels at the sides and another skirt underneath.

Folded cuff boots furthered this unfurling dynamic. The cuff opened out of the shoe stylishly — in black, white, gray or in iridescent embroidered sequins.

British singer Lily Allen, who called Chanel’s couture “incredible” and sported new platinum tresses, also spoke about female empowerment amid the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements.

The feminist 33-year-old said she has “impostor syndrome” regarding her fame and still finds it “hard to accept” being successful as a woman. She added: “maybe it’s a societal thing, or maybe it’s something we internalise from a young age.”

Allen also expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of online pro-women campaigns.

“There’s ‘Instagram empowerment’ and it’s not really very real ... The more we become so focused on the visual aspect of women, we lose the value of everything else ... it can’t be a hashtag thing,” she said. “I’d like to see more implementation of change and policy at government level.”



Chanel has announced that Academy Award-winning actress Penelope Cruz is to become the newest face of the house.

The 44-year-old Spanish star stunned in a pale tweed mini dress and a white beret at Chanel’s couture show Tuesday.

Cruz, who is no stranger to the industry and has been the face of Spanish brand Loewe, will officially become Chanel fashion ambassador and front the 2018-19 resort collection campaign. The photography was shot by designer Lagerfeld himself.