Tilda Swinton in front of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. She’s giving it a run for its money, no? All photos courtesy of Chanel.
Then after the show, it’s the after party, and when the show in question is
Chanel’s Cruise 2015 presentation on a manmade island in Dubai, that after party is going to be a knockout. And so it was. Post-runway show, Karl Lagerfeld appeared onstage to wave to the crowd of 1,000 who had just witnessed his inspired take on gypset chic. Karl inspires a kind of mania in people—at a recent beauty event in Paris, the entire room followed him, almost subconsciously looking where he looked, laughing as he laughed, only breaking the rhythm to snap frantic pics of his ponytail. (It was like a slo-mo choreographed dance, off by a single beat.) The Dubai crowd was infused with a similar fervour. A client in couture—eyes aflame, arms pumping like a wrestler as she clapped—practically bellowed a guttural "KARL" in the direction of the stage. Who could blame her? He has that kind of charisma. You know who else has that kind of charisma? Tilda Swinton, one of the celebrity guests at the show. I had a chance to interview her on the sand outside, as the sun was starting to set over Dubai. It was the kind of interview where you’re concerned about controlling your face because you realize that you’re quickly falling in love. Frankly, I was nervous to talk to Tilda. Years ago, during TIFF, a colleague had asked Tilda how she would define her career trajectory, and the actress reportedly replied, "I don’t have a career. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Define career." So. I was mulling over both escape routes and my definition of "fashion" when Martina Djago of ELLE Quebec and I got the nod.