Chanel's Woodsy Wonderland, Louis Vuitton's Millennium Falcon Close Paris Fashion Week

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Chanel's forest runway

The final collections were high and low — tech, that is.

On Tuesday, the last day of the fall 2018 collections at Paris Fashion Week, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld doubled down on the garden theme from his couture show, creating an entire forest inside the Grand Palais.

The invitation earlier in the week bore a single leaf, a simple clue for a fall collection. He’s known for his over-the-top sets that are sometimes more stunning than the show; his replica of the Eiffel Tower comes to mind, or his blasting-off rocket ship. But the woods were entirely unexpected, with real trees uprooted from wherever and plopped down indoors in the center of Paris.

The entire floor was covered in a thick, damp and earthy layer of leaves. Canadians in the audience were joking that it smelled like home. Hey, Karl , a cup of Tim Horton's would have been nice.

Keira Knightley sat front-row, but new brand ambassador Margot Robbie was nowhere to be seen.

It was less sweetness and light than Lagerfeld's couture collection. Velvet coats, boucle capes and warm snoods gave the lineup a Little Red Riding Hood feel that was more subtle and wearable, perhaps, than Valentino’s oversized floral fairytale earlier in the week. Capes have been a feature at Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Valentino, and so it seems like it’s time to add that to next winter’s wish list.

Boots and flats stunned in shimmering copper, bronze and rose gold, without a heel in sight. Buns were loose and messy, a relaxed contrast to last season's tight chignons. Lagerfeld’s signature look also creeped in, with high buttoned-up pointed collars and fingerless gloves. He also introduced a leaf print that will be the most obvious mark of the season and will surely be snapped up.

It was a scene so warm and inviting, we were already wishing for fall (never mind that it’s still winter outside).  

Stella McCartney wants us to throw our phones into the sea; Karl Lagerfeld wants us to take a walk in the woods. Maybe fashion’s telling us it’s finally time to take a deep breath.

Louis Vuitton closed the week by opening the Louvre’s private garden and filling it with … the Millennium Falcon? The spaceship-style stage set appeared to take design direction from Star Wars.

The finale was one of the most star-studded gatherings of the week, with Emma Stone, Sienna Miller, Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux in the seats to see designer Nicholas Ghesquiere’s latest collection.

Chloe Grace Moretz said she missed Sunday night’s Oscars because she was on the flight over, but the young activist caught up with Frances McDormand’s speech: “I really loved what Frances did. She’s really such an eloquent person and she deserved the Oscar. And for her to use that platform to have all the women stand up in the room and to congratulate each other and to communicate and to join together was really powerful.”

The skies opened up almost the second the models hit the stage, battering the glass roof with rain, as if on cue. The models walked down the stairs surrounded by gargoyles, which added to the moody darkness. Nature is one great show producer.

The collection was decidedly feminine, mostly skirts and dresses with delicate heels. Flowing dresses had button-up fronts, while shoulders on sportier tops were rounded. Sleeveless tops had high collars and were cinched with corsets, and the back view featured military sashes. Some models wore a single armband bearing the LV logo.

It felt less hard-edged than recent collections — although, you'll remember, the Millennium Falcon is part of the Resistance. 

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