While we have all been watching and digesting the other shows in Paris, it is of course Chanel that everyone has been waiting for. Having already shown his final collection for Fendi last week, this show marks the last ever looks created by the Kaiser himself, and it was a fittingly solemn moment, right down to the minute's silence that was held in the designer's honour.
The show, however, must go on, and that is precisely what happened, and with typical Lagerfeld largesse. For the occasion, the Grand Palais was transformed into a winter ski resort, with a Swiss chalet at one end: the show was opened by Cara Delevingne in a white tweed jumpsuit – its deep neckline filled with necklaces; she wore a matching hat, with a houndstooth coat thrown on top.
An elegant procession of masculine tailoring
This set the scene for an elegant procession of masculine tailoring, in the form of tweed trousers and coats, each more fluid and languid than the last. Waistcoats in bold black and white checks were followed by chunky knit jumpers in greyscale, and easy suits in boucle tweed.
Unusual for Chanel, the first skirt did not appear until look 10, and even then it was in the form of a roomy boucle coat, teamed with shearling moon boots. One lovely nod to winter was a neckerchief imprinted with the Chanel motif, worn as an alternative to jewellery, while Lagerfeld’s impeccable eye for proportion arrived as a short tweed dress, over tweed fitted shorts and with a rick-rack-patterned cropped jacket.
Next came a myriad of blanket knit skirts mixed with fawn cashmere, and then more casual knitted tube dresses teamed with parkas arrived in a blast of colour as pinks, purples and even hot oranges appeared.
We were kept waiting until Look 68 to see Lagerfeld's last vision of the feminine, finally arriving as beautifully tiered feathery looks in purest arctic white.
With actress Penelope Cruz as one of the models, these looks were all about the skirts - fragile, powdery puffs of maribou feathers, that seemed to be held together by air, as transitory as a snowflake.
For the finale, the entire cast of 72 models took to the runway, with many seemingly in tears. This final showing of Lagerfeld's last ever collection really is the end of an era, yet one can only be delighted that it ended on such a triumphant note. Congratulations Mr Lagerfeld, and adieu.