A ship was rebuilt inside the Grand Palais and Paris relives the novel of the early twentieth century. Chanel’s Cruise Collection: combinations of pink, silver and teal
A cruise is a trip to an exotic place, when one used to leave during the winter months – with Egypt or the Caribbean as the destination. The taste of the sea is different in every corner of the planet – you recognise it among the rocks of the Mediterranean, in the crossings in India with the Duke of Edinburgh, between the Gibraltar Light. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Palermo was an exotic destination for the Scandinavian sovereigns, a small Italian Paris where Donna Florio echoed the little that remained of Hapsburg Vienna. One could say that the question of a cruise style was invented by Chanel, but the primacy would be reduced to a registry issue. Chanel put trousers on women – when she thought of dressing them à la marinière she did so smiling. Chanel began the bourgeois class of the twentieth century, that of the industrial boom and work as a value – that bourgeoisie mocked in Italy by the Agnelli, both with unemployment benefits and for the snobbery of the book set in a Versilia more beautiful than any land beyond the continent.
Last May a transatlantic yacht appeared in full size under the vault of the Grand Palais. A production equal to that of a Hollywood colossal – most of the material to make it will be recycled in an eco-sustainable perspective. The music of a rave from Bali indicated the beginning: a collection of almost ninety pieces walked along the pier. The names of the models make up the most important list of the current industry – but from Chanel this is only detail, it does not matter, compared to the show. The clothes rediscover the origins of fashion for every cruise that Coco Chanel designed for the first time in 1919: white stripes alternating with Mediterranean blue lines. Blue stripes and over plastic, red, navy and ivory stripes. Jeans and pearls. Long and black evening dresses and white gloves. Flat shoes, tweed berets. Glasses with blue lenses like the sea bed of Capri. Combinations of pink, silver and teal. An old song by Celentano, Il molleggiato, ending with Go West by the Pet Shop Boys.Five hundred students will visit the Grand Palais to touch the work of the artisans directed by Lagerfeld: tailors and embroiderers, with a technique between ancient and laser – it is still difficult to describe in words what is felt and comprehended by moving fingers between the weaving of those pieces of cloth – if you can define tweed as such – worked, pulled, knotted, finished and embellished – in metals, silks, wools and plastics.