Colonialism and cricket from Chanel

Singapore hosts first Asian runway debut for famed French house

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 10:18am

"Low key" is how Chanel's 2013/14 Cruise collection show in Singapore is being described. But what isn't low key are the runway looks, as Karl Lagerfeld took us back to Coco Chanel's 1913.

The event, the first Chanel Cruise runway show in Asia, was a major coup for Singapore. It was chosen, according to a Chanel statement, because "it's the ultimate cruise destination; it is summer all year round". And as a nod to the city state's colonial past, the show was held in former British army barracks on an old nutmeg plantation in Dempsey Hill. The venue was basic and sedate compared with the label's previous runways shows (the 2012 Cruise collection was held in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in France).

About 80 styles made up the collection that had a palette of mostly black, white and navy blue with some pastel accents thrown in. Lagerfeld's collection of contemporary shapes and silhouettes was, as always, elegant and feminine: pencil skirts, wide-leg trousers, diaphanous dresses, short and slender jackets, pleated blouses in crepe de chine, cotton and linen and lacquered straw. In keeping with the colonialist setting, many of Lagerfeld's designs were inspired by the quintessential British sport of cricket - some looks complete with knee-pads and bats.

Among the models were Shu Pei and Stella Tennant as well as the new face of Chanel, Cara Delevingne. Famous faces spotted among the 800 guests included actress Dakota Fanning, South Korean pop star Choi Si Won, Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi and Chanel ambassadors Zhou Xun, Anna Mouglalis and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey.

A day before the show Lagerfeld premiered Once Upon A Time... at Raffles Hotel. The 15-minute film recounts the early days of designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel when she opened her first boutique in France 100 years ago. Newly wed actress Keira Knightley played the role. Shot by Lagerfeld in Paris, the film also stars Chanel muse Tallulah Harlech and models Lindsey Wixson and Ashleigh Good.