“A miracle of foamy light suspended from the stars.” This is how the novelist Scott Fitzgerald described the magic of the French Riviera in the 1920s. The Cruise evening held at Eden-Roc on Monday, May 9th was haloed in this same miracle.
Strolling in through the Hôtel du Cap’s enchanted pine forest, Vanessa Paradis, Caroline de Monaco, Anna Mouglalis, Blake Lively, and other happy fews took their seats at little tables lining both sides of the central avenue leading down to the sea. The Earth seemed to tilt to the gentle incline of spring... The collection was magnificently defined from the outset: less “young in the sixties” than the 2010/11 Saint-Tropez Cruise collection, Karl Lagerfeld wanted this Cruise collection to be very feminine, very sexy, and very glamorous, loaded with references to the mythology of the French Riviera in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, yet unhampered by nostalgia. Nostalgia is the enemy of movement. The focus was placed on daffodil-yellow and purple fitted tailored suits that feel like a second skin, accentuated by wonderful neo-Japanese futuristic boots cut out around the toes. This created long silhouettes and a contemporary look!
The geometric black and white of a cardigan and flowing cloak recalled a pictorial composition from the 1920s by Fernand Léger. A series of swimwear studded with rhinestones and cut very high on the thighs conjured up the whimsy of Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles and their avant-garde, gymnastic art film Biceps et Bijoux (“Biceps and Jewels”). Speaking of jewels, sublime stones were also present, with jewelry the designated Queen of the collection. The quintessential little black Chanel dress sparkled with a diamond-studded Comète necklace draped over Karolina Kurkova's shoulder. Here on this legendary Riviera, in this world suspended between dreams and reality, jewels – like marquises – come out at five o’ clock for a dip in the sea. “Sea salt corrodes costume jewelry, but diamonds love sea water. Enough of those old diktats about only wearing jewelry in the evening!” joked Karl Lagerfeld.
Like a scene from a movie, Kirsten Mc Menamy swept past with a stunningly handsome young male entourage. Suddenly the scent of Hollywood filled the evening air, as if the 1940s Rita Hayworth, wife of Ali Khan, was among us... and yet light years away… glamorous of course. Could these personalities in ribbed cardigans and wonderfully flowing trenches really be Beau Gosse, Perlouse and La Championne de Tennis from "Le Train Bleu"? This musical operetta was written by Cocteau and Milhaud and costumed by Coco Chanel in 1924.
After being wowed by the timeless chic of the Cruise collection with its past and present muses, the company were seated on little wooden chairs for a screening of Karl Lagerfeld’s latest short film, "Tale of a Fairy". Shot by the maestro over three days and alternating between black and white and color, the film explores androgyny and the intermittency of love, and met with rapt applause.
Given the emotion, three powerful female characters and strong direction recalling the work of Ophüls and Thomas Winterberg, the full-length feature movie is now eagerly anticipated. As Fairy handed over the stage to Ferry, dandy crooner Brian Ferry treated the company to a beautifully intimate concert that mirrored the magical elegance of Eden-Roc and the Cruise collection. Love is the drug. Beauty is a manifesto.