It all started in the 1920s, when Coco Chanel immersed herself in the life of leisure and glamour of Monaco, rolling with the likes of Salvador Dali as well as Jean Cocteau at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Then in the 1990s, it was Karl Lagerfeld’s turn to fall in love with Monaco, even buying and renovating Villa La Vigie (meaning ‘the watchman’), where he lived for over 10 years.
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Monaco and Chanel have come a long way together, and the Cruise 2022/2023 show was a homecoming. The show venue — at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel — seemed like a natural choice. “Karl was dreaming about it,” said creative director Virginie Viard. The iconic hotel opened in 1929, and attracted a star-studded crowd which included Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace Kelly. The Villa La Vigie forms a part of the property as a discrete exclusive suite.
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The collection trailer, starring Lyna Khoudri and shot by Sofia and Roman Coppola, played out like a Monaco dream: Speed boats, car racing and making the plunge into stunning azure pools. Juxtaposed by iconic archival images — Caroline of Monaco (photographed by Helmut Newton), Grace Kelly, and Coco Chanel herself — we were left without a doubt the intrinsic link between Monaco and the spirit of the maison.
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As invited guests lounged in beach chairs, models strolled down the beach in looks that echoed Monaco, between exhilaration and nostalgia. In racing jumpsuits and baseball hats, some holding helmets (displaying the iconic number 5), these cool girls looked like they had just walked right off the racetracks. There were also references to the Monaco Grand Prix by way of fluttering flag prints on silk blouses and chiffon dresses. There were sporty tweed sets complete with sneakers and tennis racket bags, and the playful swimwear brought to mind the costumes Coco Chanel designed for the ballet ‘Le Train Bleu’. Monaco has always been a place of fantasy and escape for the glitterati, and we were all given a very seductive taste.