There's a trend in catwalk shows this season, and it's all about taking things back to basics. At Saint Laurent last night, just 150 guests were invited to an old-fashioned salon couture show (widely rumoured to be Hedi Slimane’s last for the label). No Instagrammable sets and not even any music - just a focus on what we’re all meant to be looking at anyway: the clothes.
And at Chanel this morning, a catwalk show known for its spectacular theatrical sets (last season it was an airport, before that a French bistro, and who can forget that supermarket?), there was nothing but chairs. OK, so there were around 1,850 more chairs than at Saint Laurent, but the sentiment is kind of the same.
As our ticket hinted, we all had a front row seat (a FROW-for-all?!), which made everyone feel equal - we were sitting literally within spitting distance of Kris Jenner, as well as some fascinating Chanel clients, all dressed head-to-toe in Karl Lagerfeld’s designs, as well as a couple with toy dogs who were also wearing Chanel. Of course, with only one row of seats and so many people, this meant a long, winding catwalk for the models. Thankfully for them - including Kendall, Gigi and a few handsome men for good measure - most of the shoes were flat.
So, on to the clothes; there was plenty of classic Chanel tweed, of course. Many models wore hats that reminded me of the ones Playmobil characters wear. And we were rather taken with a handful of voluminous trench coats. Some of the shoes looked like lace-up wellies (we’ll add that to the emerging ‘Great Outdoors’ trend for next season) and the only heels were kitten height and so tiny they were almost invisible.
Of course, showing in Paris’s huge Grand Palais and inviting so many guests, including celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Leigh Lezark, is never going to result in a low-key show. But this is probably about as subtle as Karl Lagerfeld gets. After all, that's why everyone loves him, right?
See ALL the looks at the AW16 Chanel show here...