All Aboard the Chanel Cruise Ship

For Resort 2019, Karl Lagerfeld staged a nautical romp, complete with a Titanic-like vessel, in Paris’ Grand Palais

All the typical seaworthy clichés may have applied to Chanel’s Cruise 2019 outing, but only Karl Lagerfeld can stage a show with an overworked theme and make it chicer than chic.

This season, Lagerfeld took to the high seas, installing a massive, Titanic-style vessel, the SS La Pausa (named for Coco Chanel’s villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin) in the center of Paris’ Grand Palais.

As the first note of the retro soundtrack played, models began to prance by Lagerfeld’s steamship. It seemed to be Lagerfeld’s Love Boat, with a touch of Fantasy Island thrown in. Lagerfeld, of course, acted as Mr. Roarke, always fulfilling our every fashion fantasy. Both of these beloved TV shows always featured famous guest stars, and so did Chanel’s Cruise—Kristen Stewart, Margot Robbie, Lily-Rose Depp, Ralph Fiennes, and other stars sat front row while taking in the nautical fare, which was flaunted by such models as Bella and Gigi Hadid, Barbara Palvin, and Yasmin Wijnaldum.

Per usual, the lineup offered something for everyone. There were classic nautical looks, like a simple, double-breasted navy blazer and a pink, pleated skirt, or nifty white Chanel sweaters paired with mariner-stripe pants. For the younger client, there were party-ready metallic leathers, shredded denim ensembles, and PVC-coated dresses (a fashion favorite of late). Midriff-bearing tops were paired with a series of tulip-shaped skirts, and a skinny cropped pant was the trouser of choice. It was all tied together by some oh-so-French berets, boater hats, sensible flat shoes, and novelty La Pausa-logo life-preserver bags and necklaces.

When the show ended, Lagerfeld emerged on the main deck flanked by models on each side. He waved to everyone and invited them aboard La Pausa for an evening of revelry (very Mr. Roarke).

Behind the navy façade in the ship’s hull was a central dance floor, set between two upper decks complete with deck chairs and a fake swimming pool. While sipping on champagne, cocktails, and seafood snacks, guests danced to the tunes of band Corine and a DJ set that kicked off with the Love Boat theme song. As editors, influencers, and notables flown in for the event danced the evening away, the music and the band played on. One journalist quipped that the irony of a Titanic-like ship full of industry types was not lost—publishing has certainly hit an iceberg and there are not enough lifeboats to go around. However, judging by this show, there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Chanel.

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