Text by Tay Huizhen
Images courtesy of Chanel
A memorable decade-long sojourn in warm Mediterranean locales inspired Mademoiselle Coco Chanel to craft elegant, summer-ready clothes for the fashion-forward female jet-setter. A generation later, the Chanel Cruise collection continues to evolve, and is showcased in ports of call handpicked for inspiring the summertime luxury that birthed the collection’s vision of grace. From Monte Carlo to Los Angeles and New York, the Chanel Cruise sets sail into its first Asian debut in Singapore.
In fashion, seasonal collections come and go, but the Chanel Cruise collection was born out of a timeless dedication to cater to the needs of the female traveller seeking comfort in style.
The simple idea was born in 1924 when Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel started accompanying her rumoured beau, the Duke of Westminster on his peregrinations. At her fabled summer retreat, villa La Pausa, along the Côte d’Azur, Coco tried her hand at yachting.
Perhaps it was the soft caress of the ocean winds that gently undid her hair or flirted with the rims of her skirt, but in her travels, Mademoiselle Coco sensed a need for light and breathable—yet stylish and elegant—wear for jet-setting ladies of leisure flocking to warmer climes for the holidays. So she began to create with the independent female traveller in mind, who was lured by the romance of the Riviera or the golden sands of the Venice Lido beaches, but needed a wardrobe that was practical enough to lounge with ease, and in silhouettes and fabrics that were effortlessly chic.
Inspired by the Duke’s crew, the first Cruise Collection (collection croisière, in French) featured navy and white palettes, gold buttons, sailor caps, and wide-legged sailor trousers that soon transformed into hallmarks of high fashion for the ages. Tweed, a material that the Duke introduced to Coco in Scotland, became a signature fabric of the Chanel Cruise collections. Accompanying the classic apparel were feminine and iconic accessories and bags that were as functional as they were intricate. Now crafted by Chanel’s resident creative director Karl Lagerfeld, the latest Cruise Collections range from whimsical lush pastels to polished, defined monochromes, each stitch a statement of fierce elegance in vogue.
Read more in The U Press N˚2 (Singapore edition).