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Chanel shows two-tone cruise line to eclectic Dubai crowd


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The iconic French label Chanel drew throngs of guests and some celebrities to view the brand's latest resort collection with a runway show in Dubai defined by stark two-tone pieces and an evening after-party Tuesday under a simple white canopy.

It marked the second time Chanel has held a runway show for one of its cruise collections in Dubai, a global hub and shopping mecca that beckons jet-setting fashionistas and style mavens to dress in their finest any time of the day without coyness or concerns of provoking a second glance.

The Chanel Cruise 2021/22 collection by creative director Virginie Viard was first unveiled virtually in May due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was shown to a live audience for the first time in Dubai. All guests in attendance had to prove COVID-19 vaccination or show a negative virus test.

The fashion for this collection was inspired by the label's founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, and her friendship with French filmmaker and visual artist Jean Cocteau. Specifically, the collection drew inspiration from a black and white experiential film Cocteau directed in 1960.

The ready-to-wear collection mirrored the era's modern and punk sensibilities with pieces distinguished by leather, fringes, beads, sequins, and Chanel's tweed suit pieces. A few of the bags from the collection also included fringe, as well as redefined details on the label's quintessential black quilted leather style.

The shoes included pointed metallic-wedged Mary-Janes and mid-calf gold-tipped booties. Accessories included a black leather garter with a small attached purse emblazoned with Chanel's double-C logo.

The fashion on the runway was matched only by the fashion off the runway as the show's Chanel-clad guests, many of whom are loyal customers of the brand, sashayed through adjacent doors to the after-party, which featured a surprise performance by singer John Legend. Celebrities in attendance included actress Penelope Cruz and several Arabic-language movie stars. The diverse crowd of Lebanese, French, South Asian, Korean and others included many who had flown in for the event.

The blinged-out eclectic gathering stood in contrast to the pared down theme of rustic simplicity for the invites, runway aesthetic and after-party decor, drawn from the French countryside and convent of founder Chanel's childhood.

Aya Batrawy, The Associated Press

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