Style and Creativity Take Flight at Chanel

By Abbey Gingras

Chanel runway shows have never been known for small-scale design or following the masses. Under the strict stewardship of the legendary Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion house is always a must see during fashion week — and this year was no exception.

Showcasing the chic designs in an airport-themed set, complete with Terminal No. 5 based off the brand’s unmistakable perfume, Lagerfeld’s latest fashion feat was undoubtedly one of his most impressive.

While reality TV star turned model Kendall Jenner dominated the runway, and later the headlines, the crowd was full of celebrities and fashion icons alike. From Lily-Rose Depp to Cara Delvinge to the ever-fabulous Anna Wintour, Chanel’s Spring 2016 collection was one of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week.

Chanel’s classic tweed suits were common on the runway, but the designer also showcased a wide range of airport chic styles ranging from comfy sweaters and baseball hats to stunning dresses. There was something for every type of traveler at Chanel Airways, especially a wide array of bags and luggage.

Chanel Spring 2016 Runway Show, Paris Fashion Week, October 6 2015. Photo by Francois Mori, Associated Press
Chanel Spring 2016 Runway Show, Paris Fashion Week, October 6 2015. Photo by Francois Mori, Associated Press

The runway show was the latest of Lagerfeld’s grandiose visions when it comes to showcasing his designs, and the second time he was inspired by airports. In 2007, his show was set inside the cabin of an airplane.

Perhaps the most over-the-top moment of his career came in 2010, when he and Chanel shipped a glacier that weighed over 250 tons from Sweden all the way to France.

Chanel's infamous glacier from 2010.
Chanel’s infamous glacier from 2010.

While Chanel’s designs may not be suited — or affordable — for the average college students, the show brought to mind two very important lessons about style and fashion.

First, travel does not have to lack style. Sweatpants and a messy bun may seem like the easy choice when heading to the airport, but there are plenty of trendy alternatives. From oversized sweaters to classic and simple smoking slippers, there’s always room for style and comfort when you’re on the move.

Secondly, fashion — particularly with houses like Chanel — is art. And while art is sometimes eccentric, bold and confusing, it’s also challenging and moving. Shows like Chanel’s this week remind us that clothing is more than just what we wear, it represents our souls and our emotions. We can be defined by it.

As Leighton Meester once said in Gossip Girl, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”

Lagerfeld reminded us of this with Chanel Airways, proving that where we’re going can be defined by what we wear along the way.

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