By  on May 18, 2007

BEVERLY HILLS — Karl Lagerfeld is ready to take another flight of fancy, this time California style.

The designer will present Chanel's latest cruise collection tonight, the second time in a row he has shown the line in the U.S. after last year's show on the East Balcony of New York's Grand Central Terminal. This time around, Chanel is taking over hangar number eight at Santa Monica Airport. Two airplanes are slated to pull into the hangar, from which the models will disembark in the collection. The 500 guests are expected to include Demi Moore, Diane Kruger, Camilla Belle, Milla Jovovich, Lily Allen, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Alba and Rachel Bilson.

"I did New York before, and everybody goes to New York now, so I can go somewhere else," Lagerfeld said of his decision to cruise West, with possibly a little dig at all the other European fashion houses who have chosen to open their resort lines in Gotham.

Chanel flew in more than 50 of its executives to make sure the production goes off without a hitch. Lagerfeld and his crew of stylists and publicists have taken over parts of the city's iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, which seems to be oozing the Chanel spirit. The driveway is lined with sleek black Town Cars displaying the house's iconic C logos on their dashboards; top models such as Sasha Pivovarova and Lily Donaldson are hurrying in and out for their fittings; Chanel-clad young executives are buzzing around clutching piles of costume jewelry, and male models are trying on Chanel roller skates custom-made for the show.

"When I started thinking about this collection, I thought it would be fun to go to L.A.," Lagerfeld said, sitting on one of the hotel's terraces overlooking a garden of palm trees. "It's in the spirit of people who travel with private jets in this part of the world, because, seen from Europe, L.A. is the idea of easy, pleasant life, of light, sunshine, fun and all that. Maybe the reality of daily life in L.A. is not that glamorous, but I don't care. L.A. is an idea, and so I used that idea as a concept for the collection."

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