Chanel loyalist Sarah Al Wazzan touched down in Paris to attend Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Pre-Fall 2017 collection show. Set against a backdrop of memorable scenarios, Karl Lagerfeld is known for whisking fashion insiders, top clients, and buyers to far-flung locales––such as Dallas, Salzburg, and Rome––to set the stage for Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collection showcases. For Pre-Fall 2017, Lagerfeld returned to the storied label’s home, where the recently renovated Hôtel Ritz Paris served as the backdrop. Just a stone’s through away from the heritage maison’s doors on Rue Cambon, Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel took up residence at the iconic hotel and occupied the third floor suite from 1937 until her passing in 1971.
Upon arriving at the French capital, where she was put up at Hôtel Le Bristol, Al Wazzan was immediately treated to Chanel’s hospitality treatment. “Before the show, all the clients attending get their hair and makeup done by the Chanel team,” Al Wazzan tells Vogue Arabia. “We each got our own makeup station with a pretty selection of palettes for the look we wanted. I went for a smoky eye and soft lip,” she adds.
Before being whisked off to the Ritz, an outfit change was in order. Al Wazzan donned a head-to-toe pink ensemble plucked from the brand’s Fall 2016 collection, which she accessorized with a pair of black bow-detailed, pointed-toe mules. She carried not one but two bags, which included a tweed pouchette and a vintage camera-shaped bag (she spotted the latter on the runway when she attended Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Pre-Fall 2016 collection in Rome.)
Showcased under three settings––lunch, afternoon tea and dinner––Al Wazzan pulled up a chair under the vast glass canopy sun-washed room during teatime to take in the collection, dubbed Paris Cosmopolite. To the up-beat song Puttin’ On the Ritz, a star-studded cast including Cara Delevingne (who made her first runway appearance after a year-long hiatus), Pharrell Williams, Georgia May Jagger, and Lily-Rose Depp (making her runway debut) snaked between round tables set with fine china and a delectable selection of scones. “The music, the setting and the clothes were fantastic. You could feel Coco’s spirit very much alive in the room,” Al Wazzan muses.
A celebration of craftsmanship through Chanel’s 11 specialized ateliers, such as Lesage (embroidery), Lemarié (feather-maker), Massaro (bootmaker), the lineup was gilded with rich texture. Classic bouclé tweed jackets, glittering pedal pushers, and wispy feathered skirts were showcased alongside quilted puffer jackets, ballooned-capes and embroidered cocktail dresses. The glitzy models swanned throughout the maze of tables masked behind netted veils that were adorned with blooming headpieces.
The following day, Al Wazzan made her way back to the Ritz, where she was invited to a re-see that took place at Gabrielle Chanel’s suite. Known for her penchant for extraordinary pieces, Al Wazzan was particularly drawn to the selection of denim designs that were unveiled on the runway. Among them was an elaborate belted coat, trimmed with fringed details on the sleeves and hemline. As for accessories, Al Wazzan is “definitely getting the ‘Please Do Not Disturb’ bag, the pink over-knee boots, and the transparent heels,” she says with a beaming smile.