The jewel in the crown of Paris Fashion Week, Chanel knows how to put on a show, and then some. If last season's 'Rocket Man' space-age theme seemed hard to beat, it was back to earth for Spring/Summer 2018, the fashion house bringing the outdoors in with a dizzying cliff-side canyon complete with its own river and waterfalls – yes, really. Not just any landscape, but based on the Gorges du Verdon in the South of France, even the air was breezy and layered, with the essence of the waterfall purifying and invigorating it.
Optimism has been a pervading theme throughout the SS18 collections – for Karl Lagerfeld, it's nature, with its calming and restorative elements, that holds the key to this. Less a literal translation and more a subtle interweaving of the theme into the collection, balance was key, with classic Chanel tweed textures – shredded and fringed – laminated by plastic coats and capes, Perspex knee- and thigh-high '60s-style boots, as well as PVC hats, fingerless gloves and tube hair ties courtesy of Sam McKnight. Chanel staples, including suiting and mini dresses, got a disco-style makeover in lurex metallic thread, while swimwear and sarong-style maxi dresses were tie-dyed and, at times, emblazoned with the house logo.
True to Chanel lore, a monochrome story emerged, the white shirt was given an oversized collar, tied with a black scarf and frothed at the sleeves, while a black and white tweed suit had total Coco appeal. A pure style high, it was all-white for the finale, with an array of mini dresses and gowns in all manner of textures and silhouettes – Lagerfeld's own version of a peace out.