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Chanel Heads to the Beach for Spring 2019

Karl Lagerfeld had a man-made ocean installed in the Grand Palais for the show, which had models wearing summery tweed and nautical colors as they walked barefoot through the sand.
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The last day of Paris Fashion Week also closes an entire month of shows, so naturally, everyone involved in producing or covering them is feeling the exhaustion. While Chanel, always held on the final morning, consistently lifts spirits through maximalist visions in the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld decided that for Spring 2019, he was going to give attendees exactly what they wanted at the end of a busy season: a mini vacation to the beach.

Invitations featured a striped umbrella with double-Cs, but the cute reference was no adequate preparation for the full-blown seashore installed in the middle of Paris. Man-made waves crashed against a floor of sand, which caused the models to walk barefoot, showing off an array of colorful slides in hand until reaching a boardwalk. A lifeguard was on duty, and Lagerfeld walked down a pier at the end to wave to the crowd from his maximalist ocean dream.

The clothing itself mixed Chanel mainstays with beach staples for an impossibly chic vacation wardrobe. Signature tweed took the form of minidresses or became loose cover-ups to layer with lace and lightweight shirts. A range of bags, from "beach balls" to luxury totes to hands-free takes on the Chanel quilt, promised to be as practical on a real beach as they were cute on a fake one. Umbrella-patterned looks in a nautical palette made a statement, as did logo-plastered straw caps.

There's never been better timing for Chanel to have a seaside-themed show, as the brand launched a new swim line, Coco Beach, earlier this year. The new line is reminiscent of Coco Chanel's trips to the seaside resort of Deauville and has allowed one of fashion's biggest brands to expand its influence further by finally offering a full selection of vacation wear. Though this collection had few swimsuits, instead focusing on luxury pieces that beachgoers can wear overtop, it seemed like the perfect celebration. Coco would certainly approve of the seaside red lips and the slew of sheer LBDs which closed the show.

Relive the fashion industry's collective vacation in the photos below.


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