This is probably the most relaxed collection I’ve seen from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel in quite some time… and he makes laid back look good. The Resort 19 collection looked simply to the heritage of both the fashion house as well as Resort itself, and found them both in one place – Coco Chanel in the resort town of Deauville in 1919. It was there she made her mark designing easy and stylish vacation clothes for wealthy clients looking to sail and enjoy the coast.
But let’s not mistake the runway for the clothes…the clothes were laid back. The show itself? Over the top as always. Bigger than the casino. Louder than the rocket. Much more impressive than Chanel airlines. This time Lagerfeld had a colossal ship named La Pausa – Chanel’s summer house in the South of France – as the set of the runway. The clothes nodded just slightly to the 80’s, but toured through the house signatures of tweed and bouclé, sailor pants and sweaters, pearls, and of course a plethora of quilting.
The looks had – for once – an air of easy femininity about them. Gigi Hadid walked in a relaxed bouclé mini with a rounded-shoulder jacket and flats. And this would be the closest thing to the Chanel brand I could actually see her wearing since she’s modeled for the fashion house. The rounded shoulder was a mainstay on this collection, blowing up bigger toward more of an 80’s feel with slim waists and little peeks of bare midriffs.
There were a few all-in 80’s sherbet rainbow hued moments in a mashup of chevrons and stripes, hobo gloves included, followed by sequinned evening watermelon looks. I don’t know how to feel about these. The 80’s child in me wants to squee in delight while the semi-sophisticated (or trying to be?) adult is saying noooooo. I think things took their worst turn with a one-size-too-small black leather skirt on Barbara Palvin. To be clear: the problem is with the fashion house putting an ill-fitting skirt on the girl, not the girl being too big for the skirt. Laid back is fantastic, but nobody looks good in leather that’s riding up because it’s too small.
Departures from the safety of signatures included clear vinyl dresses striped with feathers – some stitched inside, perfectly waterproof and ready for yachting. There were high-waisted metallic cropped pants and a couple of threadbare denim looks.
The end of the show came with a study in blue and black nautical striping in an array of silhouettes and fabrics before ramping up to a dizzying dark print. And then with a whisper, docking with a cloud of white matte sequins on a sleeveless dress, with soft waves rolling at the bust, and larger ones at the hem. A fantastic ending.