The Chanel staged looked like Brasserie Gabrielle, a place where the foreign-born proprietor celebrates the innate Franco traditions of diversity, resulting in debate and most of all, style. Guests arrived to the Grand Palais, transformed into a vast brasserie with all polished wood, leather and brass atop an intricate faux-mosaic floor, yet another manifestation of the power-fashion fusion that is Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel.
There were senses of both classic Chanel and classicism upended. Suits, some with blouson jackets, were crafted from puffed squares of paper-thin leather; others, in tweedy plaids, featured skirts with deep bias borders. But Lagerfeld also made a big show of sportif, as in separates, Chanel-style: patterned sweaters and skirts under glittering parkas; sweater, skirt; cardigan layered over classic jacket and jeans; V-neck pullover stretched into a sweater gown.
There was even a riff on workwear: short and long takes on waiters’ aprons (tweed or embroidered; never white) tied on over pants. Into the mix, Lagerfeld incorporated young, fresh trapeze LBDs; frou in black and white; and, in a pret-meets-haute moment, a huge triangle coat in a plain gray wool and jeweled feathers.
This morning Karl Lagerfeld turned his show venue into a large Chanel supermarket where models, dressed in the latest creations of the French fashion house, did their weekly shopping. And of course it wasn’t just any supermarket. Karl made sure everything was customized CC, from the Coco flakes, the Tagliatelle mademoiselle and the Eau de Chanel to the shopping carts. Grocerie shopping never was this chic. And though all we wanted was to get our hands on those designer groceries (after the show the venue was completely plundered until all shelves were empty) we had to try and focus on the clothes. Leggings and crop tops with turtle necks, worn with metallic sneakers and oversize tweed coats at first. Tweed ensembles and checked skirt suits with sporty sneaker boots later on. Followed by monochrome all leather looks, by metallic creations, rainbow bright prints and girly pink designs. All decorated by large chain accessories, fur details, sunglasses, pearls and grocery baskets as the new it-bags for 2014. Shapes were long and lean as well as cartoon shaped. It was a little bit of everything for everyone really, yet what the designs had in common was their wearability. Nothing too tight, too crispy clean or too over thought. Just a selection of casual clothing anyone would wear on a trip to the supermarket.. Almost…
The set Lagerfeld built for the Chanel show mimicked an art-gallery opening whose white walls were dominated by paintings and sculptures inspired by the iconography of Chanel. An oversize quilted handbag was installed on a wall with its chain-link strap trailing down onto the floor. An impressionistic painting of a two-tone Chanel pump hung on one wall; and, a little farther down the way, there were paintings of camellias.
Among the multitude of characters and story lines fueling Lagerfeld’s runway show were: the starving artist, the artistic life, and art itself. Gray, square-collared dresses suggested the faded smocks of a romanticized artist living in a garret; paint-“splattered” dresses recalled the working artist; tidy suits made one think of the unabashed wealth of the art patron. And graffiti backpacks and offbeat styling – such as Technicolor eyeshadow — called to mind the arty gamine.
Lagerfeld made his clothes as diverse, and as thrilling to look at, as his ‘art’. cialis canada pharmacy The ideas came at a rapid-fire pace.There were some motifs to be extracted: two-paneled skirts with side zippers; wide-cut, paper-thin leather pants; shrunken sweaters worn as multiples, including as a neck scarf; shoes with attached ribbed socks, and endless surface revelry. This included painterly ombré grays, lavish tweeds (and embroideries masquerading as tweeds), plastic-painted lace, raffia braiding etc.
At Chanel couture the feeling was fairytale like, yet scary at the same time. Dressed in perfect light shaded lace ensembles Lagerfeld’s models walked his path through the green. Their eyes dark and decorated with feathers, their faces hidden behind large droopy headpieces. They were classy ladies dressed in playful volume skirts and ribbon tweeds jackets. And how chic were those over the knee lace boots?! After hemlines dropped a few inches (midcalf length) and Lagerfeld added color in form of floral embroideries, evening dresses appeared both chic and dramatic. Evening dresses and two wedding dresses at the end that might just include Lagerfeld’s thought on the momentarily much discussed gay marriage in France.
He did a very non sustainable thing a few seasons ago by shipping that ginormous iceberg to Paris, yet Lagerfeld is fully focused on sustainability now. At least, so it seemed at Chanel’s SS2013 show at the Grand Palais. Fake windmills and a catwalk painted with the image of solar panels formed the backdrop for the collection presentation.
Chanel’s image for spring started off with classic looks; skirt suits and strapless dresses decorated with pearls. Pearls that kept popping up throughout the entire show. A show filled with renewed loose fitting Chanel suits.
Tweed fabrics, the usual suspects at Chanel, were done in bright, almost fluorescent shades, which added a young touch to the collection. Plexi glass hats to match. Mesh, patent leather and even denim made up for some unexpected creations. A sheer CC bathing suit was given a little more ‘body’ by an enormous Chanel beach bag, which had straps as large as hula hoops.
Designs were decorated by large collars, cute windmill appliqués and floral 3D embroideries. An eastern twist was given by colorful folded origami windmills on several sheer black looks. They were followed by a few quilted pieces as a series of white dresses closed the show.
Karl once again succeeded in reviving Chanel’s archive pieces with a welcome youthful, sporty and Eastern inspired touch.
New Vintage, was the name of the haute couture collection Karl Lagerfeld presented yesterday. Because Vintage is soooo depressing Lagerfeld thinks. New Vintage is something to come, he states. Well, the clothes had a 1940’s line—broad shoulders, swingy coat, cape backs—in a color palette of black, gray, silver, and dusty pink that spoke of film noir interiors. The hair also had a forties flavor. The spine of the collection was suits, he paired them with sparkling legwear and wove silver through his “tweeds.”
Besides the impressive front row (which today featured stars like Katy Perry, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Elisa Sednaoui and Poppy Delevingne) the second best thing about a Chanel fashion show is it’s backdrop. This morning enormous translucent amethyst crystals filled the Grand Palais show area. They formed the inspiration for modern 3D pieces, like coats and dresses with multifaceted bodices in multiple shades. And actually the crystals were visible in every little part of the show. From the models crystal heels, to their shiny velvet pants, up to their shimmering jackets, enormous brooches, luxurious necklaces and their crystallized brows. Besides his classical, usual suspects (tweed coats and twinsets) Karl Lagerfeld added some modern items, like cigarette pants, leggings and multicolored graphic knitted sweaters (we even spotted a knit hoodie!). They made the collection feel younger and fresher than before. The extremely talented designer even proved you can never be too young for Chanel by sending a little boy out on the runway sporting a quilted Chanel bag (yet another Chanel highlight).
It was a poetic Chanel-show. Especially after the dark, gloomy autumn show half a year ago. Is Karl Lagerfeld looking at the bright side of life again? His imaginary underwater world surely made the audience forget there is a serious financial crisis going on in the real world.
Lagerfeld changed the typical commercial and somewhat safe Chanel-look into a sporty one, with silver shoes, conch-shaped heels, a stripped Chanel-suit where the chains were replaced by pearls and he introduced modern fabrics, like the transparent plastic jacket over a swimsuit. For evening there we light lacy and mesh dresses. It was amazing what he did with his element of inspiration, the pearl – one of the Chanel-icons. Not only the colors, also the way fabrics looked, the accessories, the make up.
Florence Welch was the guest-performer, hidden in a gigantic shell where she sang her siren-song. Mysterious and magical.
The Chanel-show and -collection gave the audience a post-apocalyptic feeling. The smoking lava, the gray and black painting and music by The Cure all added this dark touch to the clothes.