The art of parties and beyond

Chanel Cruise

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007
While Karl Lagerfeld, forever on the go, has staged Cruise collections for Chanel in over-the-top places of transport before (a luxury barge on the Seine in 2004, old-timey Paris buses in 2005 and New York's Grand Central Station last year), nothing compares to the first-class spectacle he presented for winter 07/08 at the Santa Monica Airport.
Scene by scene: Just after sunset, two charter-style jets bearing "Chanel Airlines" signage taxied into Hangar 8, the doors opened and models filed down the plane steps and onto a diamond-shaped catwalk, literally going from runway to runway. The 500-strong guests went crazy with applause and continued whooping throughout. The moment the show ended, a bar appeared in the middle of the runway and waiters rushed the space, placing champagne bottles at each banquette (or, by special order, kumquat martinis).
The fashion: Navy '70s-style stewardess uniforms; flared slacks; jaunty headbands and floppy hats like something out of a roller derby; black sequined robes á la smoking jackets; and a Chanel bag on a leash, "walked" down the runway like a dog.
Random sights: Claudia Schiffer, who stars in the current Cruise campaign as well as Lagerfeld's latest campaign for Dom Pérignon, seemed very excited about posing for photos with the planes' pilots... A white silk top with the words "No Smoking" on the back caught the attention of an unusually flack-free Lindsay Lohan, who shrieked, "I want that!"... Cat Power sat in the front row with her attentive French bulldog... Over at the Beverly Hills hotel, Lagerfeld's palace away from palace, a never-ending stream of models was seen rushing in and out for fittings.
Other bolders: artist-surfer Takuji Matsuda, Carine Roitfeld, Lagerfeld muse Amanda Harlech, Michel Gaubert (who created the show's soundtrack, but Steve Aoki—brother of Devon Aoki—DJ'd at the after-party), Lily Allen, Diane Kruger, Milla Jovovich, Patricia Field, Dita von Teese, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Riley Keough, Oliver Stone, Doug Aitken, Monet Mazur, Lisa Eisner, Michele Hicks.
Before and after: Coco herself visited L.A. in 1931 to dress stars like Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Now flash forward to late 2008, when the Chanel biopic, starring Audrey Tautou, is slated to hit theaters. So timeless!

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