The Chanel Cruise 2014/15 Dubai Countdown: 1
With both names personifying the label in two quite different – and yet similar all at once – ways, the relationship between Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld is marked by shared preferences and dislikes. One of those key preferences is to push the label to become a global phenomenon of the style world, something that nobody can deny has succeeded (and then some).
Lagerfeld assumed his leading role at Chanel in 1983, transforming the thoroughly ladylike fashion label into a brand with creations suitable for dynamic, contemporary young women.
"I like Coco best at the outset of her career, the rebellious, obstinate Coco. It is of her in those days that I think when I am creating my collections," says Lagerfeld of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, a designer who had already put her stamp on 20th century fashion inimitably. She took the somewhat iconic, in a world where nothing was truly 'mainstream', uniforms of WWII as her inspiration for the characteristic Chanel style, designing simple and comfortable clothes allowing some bare skin to show – a minor revolution at the time. Her objective was to produce an emancipated, fashionable form of expression for women. Apart from sporting garments and trousers for women, such details as the short haircut were also involved in over all looks...
Many of her creations – albeit taken further and copied by numerous other fashion brands – remain highly topical and worn throughout the world today. The "little black dress", "little black jacket", tweed suit and pearls conceived as far back as 1926 remain current, timeless classics now.
It's been tremendous legacy to uphold by Lagerfeld, and there are many parallels between the now 80-year-old and his predecessor. Namely, both are, or were in Madamoiselle Chanel's case, people whose daily attitude remains very much in the present. "I am neither of the past nor of the avant-garde," explained Coco Chanel, "my style follows life."
Lagerfeld incorporates precisely what made Coco Chanel's style so famous: lack of convention, perfectionism, uniqueness, passion and most importantly, vision. Lagerfeld creates designer pieces obeying a 'less is more' mantra, and he's powered by a seemingly inexhaustible creativity and energy. "One must keep moving," he says. And never more has this vision been realised than this week – creating a dynamically stylish world for the women of today by way of Dubai. In the designer's own words, his next Cruise stop is a "futuristic megalopolis of the 21st century, an ever-developing Emirate and a crossroads of civilisations between Europe and Asia."