Close up: Ancient Greece for Chanel Cruise collection SS18

Karl Lagerfeld presents his vision of Ancient Greece for his latest Chanel Cruise collection.
Fashion’s constant oxygen is the ephemeral—something new, then something newer, and so on ad infinitum. Today’s Chanel Resort 2018 show broke that cycle to take a deep inhalation of pure antiquity. Fashions must fade, obsolescence is a given, but this was a tilt at the eternal: Chanel does Ancient Greece.

This was a modest show by Chanel standards: last season the French luxury house virtually took over Havana, Cuba, for its Cruise show, and for its autumn/winter collection, it installed a gigantic fake rocket in the main hall of the Grand Palais, amid showers of fireworks and huge columns of dry ice. But that doesn’t make the show less important, especially in an age of Snapchat attention spans.

So this was Ancient Greece for a generation of influencers: shepherdesses gambolled in cream knitted mini-dresses with fringed hems and rope-tied waists with gladiator sandals criss-crossing up to the knee. Nymphs wore calf-length white dresses appliqued with wave motifs, or draped mini dresses in coral or sky blue.