The Chanel AW18 forest felt resonant of the words ‘Once upon a time’: there was a sense that this was the autumnal carpet down which Little Red Riding Hood, swinging her basket, walked to visit her grandmother. Maybe this was the result of the sparse oak trees - brought from the Perche region of France - that towered 17 metres high, in line, in the middle of the Grand Palais. Or perhaps it was the black, capped hoods that featured in the collection.
But make no mistake, this wasn’t the setting of a young girl imperilled. Rather, it was one that imagined women, focused and carrying themselves with alacrity, on their way somewhere. And so the audience, including Lily Allen, Keira Knightley and Marc Jacobs, watched from their seats made from tree trunks as models, clad in the French fashion house’s signature tweed, fuchsia gloves or chiffon evening gowns, strode, not in a fairy tale, but in life.