A yacht anchored in Paris
Text Carlo Mazzoni
The cruise is a trip to an exotic place, when one used to leave during the winter months – in Egypt or the Caribbean. The taste of the sea is different in every corner of the planet – you recognise it among the rocks of the Mediterranean, in the crossings in India with the Duke of Edinburgh, between the light of Gibraltar. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Palermo was an exotic destination for the Scandinavian sovereigns, a small Italian Paris where Donna Florio echoed the little that remained of Hapsburg Vienna.
One could say that the issue of a cruise style was invented by Chanel, but the primacy would be reduced to a registry issue. Chanel put the trousers on women – when she thought of dressing them in the seafaring she did it smiling. Chanel began the bourgeois class of the twentieth century, that of the industrial boom and work as a value – that bourgeoisie mocked in Italy by the Agnelli, both with unemployment benefits and for the snobbery of the book set in a more beautiful Versilia than any land outside continent.
Yesterday evening, a transatlantic yacht appeared in full size under the vault of the Grand Palais. A production equal to that of a Hollywood colossal – most of the material to make it will be recycled in an eco-sustainable perspective. The music of a rave from Bali gave the sign of the beginning: a collection of almost ninety pieces walked along the pier. The names of the models make up the most important list of the current industry – but from Chanel this is only detail, it does not matter, compared to the show.
The clothes rediscover the origins of fashion for every cruise that Coco Chanel thought for the first time in 1919: white stripes alternating with Mediterranean blue lines. Blue stripes and above the plastic, red, navy and ivory stripes. Jeans and pearls. Long and black evening dresses and white gloves. Flat shoes, tweed berets. Glasses with blue lenses like the sea bottom of Capri. Combinations of pink, silver and teal. An old song by Celentano, the sprung one, at the end Go West by the Pet Shop Boys.
Five hundred students will visit the Grand Palais to touch the work of the artisans directed by Lagerfeld: tailors and embroiderers, with technique between the ancient and the laser ones – it is still difficult to describe in words what is understood by moving fingers between the weaving of those pieces of cloth – if you can define in this way a tweed material – worked, pulled, knotted, finished and embellished – in metals, silks, wools, plastics.
#ChanelCruise walked the catwalk on May 3 in front of an ocean liner rebuilt at the Grand Palais.