Airports have, in recent years, been the sartorial playground for off-duty models and celebs, but this season Karl Lagerfeld ensures they are very much for dressing to the nines, thanks to his Spring/Summer 2016 show, set in (where else?) the Grand Palais-turned-Airport Cambon.
As per his previous Grand Café, supermarket and art gallery offerings, the show's staging was elaborate, from the boarding pass invitations to the destination boards mounted in the Grand Palais to the models-cum-actors positioned at the check-in counters at the centre of the hall.
Clothes-wise, models came down the runways (literal and figurative) clad in graphic, clashing checked tweeds and printed midi dress skirt suits. Trousers remained wide-legged and jackets shrunken for Karl's nod to the Seventies silhouette that has made a comeback of late, but futuristic accents (high-shine fabrics, metal Alice bands, Perspex platforms and reflective wraparound shades) ensured that the garments stayed modern.
Where looks weren't a spin on the air stewardess uniform, they nodded towards globetrotter style with tribal-printed wrap skirts and matching vests or flowing skirts worn over trousers and thick knits knotted around the waist – all finished off with flatforms. For evening, meanwhile, there were iridescent tunics festooned with bows or sequin-embellished jackets worn with everything from denim to leather.
In terms of bags, travel-friendly briefcases, trollies and cross bodies came quilted and chain-strapped. For us mere mortals, worn together, the looks veered on style overload but individually, these are pieces that will no doubt take off.
"The only way to fly from now on? Chanel Airlines, of course. And whether you travel in couture or sweatpants, there is an outfit for you in this collection. Red, white and blue reigned supreme à la Air France, with beautiful prints adorning tweeds and maxi skirts aplenty. We've also got quilted wheelies, and even at Chanel we’re forced to contemplate a future with flat sporty sandals. Here, however, they were embedded with LED lights, so the models each created their own lit runways," said Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant, of the show.