“Chanel is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains.” (Gabrielle Chanel)
Karl Lagerfeld is a genius. He’s a visionary. He’s an innovator. But, above all he’s the most fascinating fashion designer of the world. In the past, he has transformed Chanel‘s perennial show location, The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysée, into a supermarket, a casino, French brasserie, he even launched a Chanel-branded rocket ship last year while Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ was echoing through the palace and proved the sky-high success of the famed fashion house. We are used to the gorgeously over-the-top runway shows he stages for Chanel, but today’s haute couture show was beyond our imagination and certainly the most out-of-this-world offering he’s had yet. The guests watched in astonishment the central piece of the show- Chanel tower– a beautiful homage to Karl’s beloved Paris. It was magical, marvellous, truly incredible and I am sure Coco was looking down with pride.
If I were to describe the Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017/2018 collection in three words, I would say it was elegant, refined and subtle. Under the glass dome of the Grand Palais a replica of the Eiffel tower emerged. Known for his love of themed shows, Karl Lagerfeld staged his own version of the tower at the center of the podium where the space rocket was rising in the spring. As the invitations suggested, the show was about Parisian women. As the first model appeared on the runway, we knew that in front of us was the fashion capital from the late 1950’s. Lagerfeld divided the wardrobe of French women into two parts- during the day they wear midi-coats and high boots, complemented with an elegant hat with round margins and large clip on earrings. Wide culottes are paired with short jackets, short dresses with collar-stands, pencil skirts with white blouses. For evening walks by the Seine, they choose luxurious dresses that emphasize a narrow waist, high sleeves are the new gloves.
As expected from a haute couture collection, there was a lot of manual work. This was particularly seen on the dresses that were skilfully accessorised by multi-colored fabric flowers, the intertwined graphic patterns of beads, sequins and gemstones and in the marabou feathered hems. The ending piece of the collection was a wedding dress made out of snow-white silk, framed with floral applications. After the defile, Lagerfeld was honored with the Grand Vermeil medal, Paris’ highest distinction, from mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Well deserved.
Karl, je t’aime!
Photo Credit: Vogue