Katy Perry’s infamous line “daisy dukes and bikinis on top” from her 2010 hit song ‘California Girls’ has always been a fitting description of the style in the west coast state. Despite being home to some of the world’s most famous stars, with a Hollywood history so storybook it’s been fictionalised more times than you can count, California, and more specifically, Los Angeles, has forever been overlooked when it comes to fashion.
Granted not much has changed stylistically in Los Angeles since Perry’s tribute, in fact, Margot Robbie wore almost wore exactly that — denim jeans and a bikini top — to Chanel’s show in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (albeit the chicest possible iteration). But, it appears what is changing is the perception, and the industry taking the beach-laden lifestyle’s style sensibility seriously.
Following numerous fashion house’s choosing to stage shows in L.A. of late, on Tuesday night, Chanel brought its Cruise 2023/2024 collection to the city in a celebration of all things Hollywood, marking the first time the luxury French fashion house has showcased there since 2007.
Coinciding with the opening of its largest US boutique in Beverly Hills, Chanel revealed its new collection would be “an ode to the City of Angels,” noting its founder Gabrielle Chanel’s legacy of dressing Hollywood movie stars as early as the 1920s — a connection the house continues today through its affiliations with the likes of Tribeca Film Festival and its close ties and projects with modern-day movie stars, Kristen Stewart and Margot Robbie, as well as many up-and-comers.
Guests arrived at the iconic film studio, Paramount Pictures, to find, in true Chanel fashion — the French house is synonymous with incredible, intricate and extravagant show staging — a mini carnival taking place.
Food vendor trucks serving pizza, ice cream and cocktails, juxtaposed the canapés and champagne being served by suited staff. At the same time, a team of rollerbladers expertly weaved their way through the crowd, who were almost exclusively dressed in either Chanel or their own ode to the house (perhaps influenced by those recently seen on the Met Gala steps).
It wouldn’t be Hollywood without an A-list guest list, which included Paris Hilton, naturally, wearing top-to-toe pink, and Kristen Stewart, her signature style, a complete contrast to Hilton’s, showcased through an oversized monochromatic tweed suit and white T-shirt.
Not only was Chanel darling Margot Robbie there, making the most of the Cruise theme through her aforementioned denim-swim look, but the actress and director’s Barbie co-stars, Emma Mackey and Issa Rae, were in the front row alongside her, not too far down from the It girl to end all It girls, Chloë Sevigny.
The internet’s latest obsession, Sofia Richie, whose wedding in France, during which she wore three custom-made Chanel gowns, blew up on TikTok, naturally, made an appearance, arriving arm-in-arm with her new husband Elliot Grainge. Margaret Qualley, Halsey and Leslie Mann and Iris Apatow were also spotted in the crowd, alongside Lisa Rinna and Kris Jenner, both dressed top-to-toe in their Chanel pieces.
Daisy Jones and the Six stars Riley Keough and Camilla Morrone each showed off their signature style through their looks, the former in purple and grey leggings and a matching top with the house’s iconic interlocking CC logo, and the latter in a black tweed minidress, sitting beside Elle Fanning (who’d just been told she, unfortunately, now wasn’t allowed an ice cream until after the show had finished).
One of the last — and most unexpected — to arrive was Snoop Dogg, another (perhaps unintentional) ode to Perry’s ‘California Girls’ (the rapper featured on the track). Walking in with an entourage in tow to find his seat just before the show began, Snoop later performed to the crowd, who were told to stick around and make the most of the warm evening for drinks and food, post-show.
As for the set itself, Chanel sent models down a runway set up like a football field, with guests seated on risers and branded scoreboards zooming in on various attendees in the bleachers on either end.
A huge movie screen backdropped the set with a black-and-white film roll countdown kicking off proceedings shortly after Snoop Dogg took his seat, then playing B-roll clips of Alma Jodorowsky doing aerobics in Chanel, interspersed with scenic shots of palm trees.
The collection, naturally, was kicked off by a slew of chic beachwear looks, such as the opener: a pair of black short shorts with a sequinned trim, paired with a halterneck black crop top, both of which were embellished with rosettes. A gold ‘Chanel’ logoed belt was accessorised around the model’s bare waist and white sneakers were styled with black leg warmers. A black one-piece, featuring silver, star-embellished cut-outs came next with the scoreboard zooming in on each model while displaying their names in a continuous stream below.
Things then turned as colourful as Hilton’s ensemble, with so much pink you could be forgiven for thinking it was directly inspired by the upcoming Barbie film (three of its stars were seated in the crowd, after all).
In keeping with what’s becoming Chanel designer Virginie Viard’s signature, the styling was casual and relaxed, something that made sense with the show’s location and the youthful energy of its models, including L.A. native Amelia Hamlin, who made her debut for the house.
While some models were layered up with accessories in the way of necklaces, bangles and multiple belts, others held oversized colourful bags and tie-dye bucket hats. Some, in a nod to L.A.’s skater scene, even held Chanel logo skateboards.
Hair was blown out to epic proportions, embodying classic Hollywood waves and harkening back to iconic ’90s Chanel shows, while makeup was kept fresh and minimal.
Later came the kind of blazers and coats you wouldn’t usually expect to need on the west coast (but which would have come in handy of late), as well as a slew of black evening gowns, feathered skirts, and embellished two pieces, such as the one British model Adwoa Aboah — the epitome of cool — wore.
The show closed with a gold shimmering dress and a white boiler suit that perhaps signals the changing tide of L.A. fashion: it’s still L.A. just with a little more of that historic tinsel town energy embedded into its seams.
Give me this, pizza and a Snoop Dogg performance over quiet luxury any day of the week.