The Dubai Dream ... Chanel Cruise 2014/15 Collection

Dubai is more than just a city. It is an oasis and a point of time where the present collides with the future.

As the beacon of the new and contemporary Middle East, where modern architectural features such as the iconic Burj Khalifa and the souks emanating with scents of spices and the seducing glitters of gold, Dubai served as milieu to Karl Lagerfeld’s inspiring 2014/15 Cruise Collection show for Chanel.

Staged in a vast sand-hued building built specially by Chanel and decorated with emblematic mashrabiyas that are complete with the iconic double C at The Island in the bay of Dubai, stars, fashionistas and editors from around the fashion sphere gathered to witness a timeless journey of East meets West, interpreted through the eyes of the Kaiser.  

“It’s my idea of an idealised East, an East that is for everybody,” says Lagerfeld on the Cruise collection. “There’s nothing folkloric. The influences are multiple, from fairy tales to film, from the paintings of Delacroix to the 1914 creations of Paul Poiret.”

At the front row, Chanel ambassadors Vanessa Paradis, Tilda Swinton, Anna Mouglalis, Alice Dellal and Zhou Xun were joined by today’s hottest it girls and trendsetters such as actresses Dakota Fanning, Freida Pinto, Elisa Sednaoui, Yasmine Hamdanet and Razane Jammal, as well as the film-makers Labaki and Abdalla Al Kaabi, plus other 1000 guests who jetted into the pearl of the United Arab Emirates and were all dressed to the nines for the spectacular show.  

As if the design sketches of Paul Poiret came to life, the first passage of the east-meets-west journey kicked of with a bolero jacket with voluminous sleeves embroidered with micro-sequins, a tweed playsuit belted at the waist and baggy pants in gold Lurex silk. 

Chanel’s contemporary oriental princesses treaded haughtily with delicate pearl and strass tiaras slipped into their cascading curly manes “a la Marisa Berenson”, explained Karl Lagerfeld.

The classic suit is endlessly re-visited in trompe-l’oeil three-pieces composed of coat-dresses or tunics worn alternately with cigarette or baggy pants, sketching a new style that’s both androgynous and feminine. 

The extra-large baggy pants in silk are accompanied with a jacket embroidered with neoprene camellias by the House of Lemarié, or a tunic hemmed with Lesage embroidery in powdered sequins, or a pleated blouse embellished with beads.

The geometric black and white of a kaftan tunic recalls the patterns so typical of Oriental art. A long dress in black linen with flared mid-length sleeves is adorned with multi-coloured embroidery by the Montex Atelier. A tailcoat in tweed softens a bronze sequinned dress.

The collection is ethereal, fluid and radiant. In a bold chromatic explosion, different floral and geometric prints come together on outfits of dresses or tunics in silk chiffon worn with cigarette trousers in cotton voile and knitted gilets in brilliant colours. There are magical variations around the emblematic Eastern mosaic.

For the Cruise collection, Lagerfeld employs free and confident approach. For evening, long dresses trimmed with precious braiding or scintillating embroidery representing the Dubai skyline featuring the unmistakable Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world. 

Bejewelled plastrons decorate silk crepe dresses with pure and strict lines for an absolute elegance.

Karl Lagerfeld associates the emblematic palette of Chanel – white, black and beige – with fuchsia, midnight blue and carmine red. Lightweight tweed, silk chiffon, linen, gold lamé and cotton voile, all light and sensual fabrics playing with transparency and layering. 

Watches and pieces of fine jewellery enhance the looks and are combined with costume jewellery, just as Mademoiselle Chanel herself liked to do.

The silhouette is slender, diaphanous and ultra-contemporary. It couldn’t have been anything else: “Dubai is the world of tomorrow,” assures Karl Lagerfeld.

Accessories, such as the jerry can handbag in golden quilted leather, the pearl bag, the crescent moon tiaras, the jewelled sandals with bright soles and the revisited oriental slippers reflect the humour and constantly renewed creativity of Karl Lagerfeld.

Concluding the beautiful fashion aria of the evening was a private concert where singer Janelle Monae took the stage, serenading the guests with her hits such as “Tight Rope” and “Cold War” against a setting that is truly worthy of the Thousand and One Nights.

Chanel Cruise 2014/15 collection will be available at Chanel boutiques and select departmental stores worldwide by the final quarter of the year.

*Photos courtesy of Chanel

Chanel – Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan  Ampang, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.


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