Getty ImagesVictor VIRGILE
Snow covered the streets of Paris today but inside the Grand Palais, where Karl Lagerfeld showed his spring 2019 couture collection for Chanel, is was a decadent summer sojourn at the Villa Chanel. (This on the heels of Lagerfeld’s spring 2019 collection, which brought a beach with real sand, lifeguards, and an actual ebbing and flowing ocean to the Grand Palais, as the backdrop for the collection.)
The stunning setting, evocative of a villa on Monte Carlo or the south of France, featured palm trees, a grand double staircase that led to a manicured lawn complete with a giant pool at the center.
Inspired by Lagerfeld’s favorite time period, the 18th century, the collection saw Chanel signatures like the tweed suit updated with a longer hemline and bateau necklines.
There were plenty of nods to the ’80s as well, including bubble hem dresses, pointed-toe kitten-heel booties, sharp, poofed-up shoulders, ruffle trims and feathers in a sweet palette of bubblegum pink, light blue, mint green and pastel yellow.
Models were made up with dramatic smoldering eyes, fire-red lips, and towering, ’80s punk-inspired updos.
But of all the looks presented at the Chanel Haute Couture show, all eyes were on the final look of the night, the Chanel Couture bridal look. Lagerfeld veered away from the traditional couture bridal gown and sent model Vittoria Ceretti down the runway in a dazzling, sequined bathing suit with a matching swimming cap and a glittery veil.
As with all couture shows, Chanel traditionally ends each couture collection with a bridal look, and Lagerfeld himself accompanies the “bride” at the end of her walk. But this year, the head of the luxury house was no where in sight. Instead, Lagerfeld’s right hand, Virginie Viard, took the bow instead, leaving many to wonder what caused Lagerfeld’s sudden absence.
“For the traditional greeting at the end of the show, Mr Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him and greet the guests alongside the bride,” the brand said in a statement to WWD. The brand continued, writing, “Virginie Viard as creative studio director and Eric Pfrunder as Chanel’s director of image continue to work with him and follow through with the brand’s collections and image campaigns,” and wished Lagerfeld a speedy recovery.