You can always count on Chanel to do things in style. I arrived in the Regina hotel in Venice yesterday in anticipation of the Chanel Cruise collection tonight at the Lido and headed straight on to the balcony to look out over the Grand Canal. You forget how beautiful Venice is. In my hotel waiting for me was the invitation to the show – a hand-drawn pastel painting of Coco Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld himself – and a pair of Chanel sunglasses, perfect for the hazy sunshine here. After much deliberation over what to wear for dinner with Karl – most of the fashion editors thought black and Chanel it appeared, but I went for caramel and cream in a nod to the Riviera – we gathered for dinner on the terrace of the Regina for dinner. It was a little chilly so we wrapped ourselves in green fleece blankets and ended up looking like poker tables! The major talking point of the table though was the fact Karl Lagerfeld actually took his glasses off! In the 20 years I've been going to Chanel events I've never seen Karl without his sunglasses – other than when he has to read something, when he lifts them on to his forehead for the briefest of moments – until last night when he seemed happy to bear all. You can't fault his stamina though. When I went to bed at 1am Karl was still going strong, despite the fact he was shooting for a Russian magazine on the Lido at 5am this morning with Amanda Harlech. I'm actually almost sick with excitement at the thought of the actual Cruise show tonight. The PRs are slightly worried that the forecast is breezy because the catwalk runs along the Boardwalk of the Lido in front of the beach huts. But knowing Karl and knowing Chanel it'll be perfect. Stay tuned to tweets and here for pics, videos and a fashion moment as it happens!
- Paula Reed, Style Director