This morning in Paris, I stepped into a snow-filled mountain village. It was the late Karl Lagerfeld’s last show for Chanel, easily the most anticipated moment of Paris Fashion Week. As we took our seats with faux snow collecting on our shoes, I noticed the level of set production signature to a Chanel show. There were branded skis leaning against fences, each little chalet had a steaming chimney, and I swear the temperature was set to a slight chill. I couldn’t help but notice that Lagerfeld's two most recent collections also referenced seasons: summer at the beach for S/S 19 and fall among the changing leaves for F/W 18. An ode to the final season of the year felt right for Lagerfeld’s last collection. The show began with a moment of silence to honor the former creative director, and in the show notes, there was a sketch of Karl and Coco with the words, “The beat goes on…”
As the music started, Cara Delevingne appeared on the runway in a checked tweed–and-houndstooth ensemble topped with a fedora—a fitting opener given the model’s close relationship with Karl. The collection blended streetwear and ski wear, mixing winter fabrics with airy chiffon. Picture a woman on a ski vacation who is the height of sophistication but somehow makes it look comfortable and easy. Winter white was a major theme, supported by beige, navy, and black, with punches of pink, green, and red. Toward the end of the show, Penélope Cruz, a recent Chanel ambassador, appeared holding a single white rose to honor Lagerfeld. As the models took a final lap on the runway, David Bowie’s "Heroes" played, another nod to the iconic creative director. Anna Wintour led a standing ovation, with every guest in attendance rising to their feet. Post-show, I noticed many guests lingering, quite the opposite of the usual stampede for the exit. The sentiment was clear: The fashion set wanted to savor the last bits of Lagerfeld’s legendary vision.