Chanel in a sylvan mood
On a final day of the international fashion season often dominated with cloned heads; holographic fabrics and futurist garments, it was impressive to witness the latest collection by Chanel from Karl Lagerfeld, a fashionable expression capturing the unique splendor of nature.
A sylvan moment at Chanel, in a show staged in an immense forest remarkably recreated inside the Grand Palais, to present a rich array of snazzy and chic autumnal clothes. The walls covered with giant hangings of an ancient wood; the 2,000 guests perched on sawn timber benches; the ground a tangle of roots and maple leaves. Talk about a set with a wow factor!
The famed Chanel tweed tweaked into November hues of orange, magenta and purple – often the fabrics mimicking fractal-like patterns – recalling the Adirondacks; the forests of northern Europe or Dersu Uzala’s Siberia. And cut into long flared blazers; and full-length skirts paired with the classic four-pocket Chanel jacket. Often finished with matching scarves.
Many of the long coats embroidered with fabric flowers and micro feathers, in a show that featured 81 looks. Wonderful woodland creatures kicking up leaves as they strolled about in densely embroidered jacquards; or knit dresses completed by chains and necklaces with berry-like pearls. Hints of golden maple everywhere; long pointy thigh boots or neat court shoes.
“It is a kind of Indian summer I love with gold leaves. It is a beautiful mood; autumn was always my favorite season. I was brought up in the country in a house on an estate where there were 12 avenues of trees that looked something this. So, in a way, I return to my childhood roots,” explained Lagerfeld backstage after posing for photos with Carla Bruni.
With applause booming about the Grand Palais, Karl took a short bow with his new favorite model Luna Bijl.
The cast faintly austere, with their hair pulled up into loose buns, and makeup kept dark and moody. For evening, an array of classy little black dresses, done negligée style, like that worn by Kaia Gerber, the house’s new brand ambassador. Her outfit accessorized by pink elbow gloves and a new soft folding bag, The 31, a play on the French term, “se mettre sur son 31,” meaning to really look chic.
“Kaia is great, her mother is great, and she’s marvelous. Though my favorite model is Luna, the Dutch girl took my bow with. She is so funny and part of my new gang I called les Choupettes. It includes Vanessa Paradis' daughter Lily Rose; and my godson Hudson,” cackled Karl, in reference to his much-loved cat, Choupette.
Asked about the previous night’s fashion dinner in the Elysée Palace, Karl replied: “Anna (Wintour) wanted me to accompany her. I was invited, but I never ever go to parties or social event the night before a show. It is bad luck. Beside, I heard the young designers were quite sloppy. Only Anna was dressed like a queen,” sniffed Lagerfeld, attired in a black jacket with miniature fabric flowers; suede trousers and a classic black woven silk tie dotted with a very large sapphire.
“French politicians have always been scared of fashion. They're afraid to get the image of being linked to the rich and couture. So it’s good that Macron wants to change by having this dinner. Bravo!” he added.
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