As for the clothes — all 89 looks — they were a nod to place and history: rooted in the sights and sailors of the Hamburg port, with a particular nod to the Swinging ’60s, when The Beatles called the city home. With blue chunky cable knits and cashmere thigh-high leg warmers to bejeweled Elbesegler sailor caps, long smoking pipes and side-slung quilted duffel bags, the models were transformed into a merchant mariner. Ahoy.
Accompanied by rousing original music from the Resonanz orchestra, led by the composer, conductor and cellist Oliver Coates (who took center stage in a hoodie), the maritime references continued to flow thick and fast.
There were gray, officer-ready belted pea coats with gleaming silver buttons, flared and cropped pants, and a bright white bouclé sailor skirt-suit finished with a bow and red piping. With nautical braids in their hair and gauzy net head scarves, the models Kaia Gerber and Grace Elizabeth traversed the hall’s tiers in rusty-hue jackets and sweaters imprinted with knotted ropes, or shimmering with multicolor metallic mosaics, à la … shipping container. (Really. Designers find inspiration in the most unexpected places.)
The final battalion of textured evening wear in myriad glittering blues intended to mimic the waves of the sea drew gasps from the crowd, with most members peering through mini Chanel opera glasses that had been left on their seats.
“It was so moving tonight, more than usual I thought, to see Karl back here in the city he was born,” said Ms. Depp, the face of a number of Chanel advertising campaigns.
“So much of the spirit and energy of this city was clearly woven into the clothes, the emotions were buoyed by the music too, and this space,” she said, waving at the hall’s white vaulted dome and gleaming organ pipes, arrayed like a waterfall on one wall.
Later, everyone navigated over to a vast warehouse on the harbor docks that had been transformed into a momentary den of iniquity. A “drunken’” sailor choir lined the rickety metal staircases of the venue, belting out songs as diners dipped into local fish dishes passed down long wooden banqueting tables via giant pulleys suspended in midair.
There was a tattoo parlor, gallons of flowing grog — C champagne, this is fashion — and plenty of dancing before the crowds made their way onto the cobblestones and into the darkness, beckoned by their own voyage home.