Wednesday 3 December 2014

CHANEL 'Paris - Salzburg': The Tyrolean Whirlwind

Austrian fashion is not an oxymoron, despite the kitsch treatment it may have received over the years in movies like The Sound of Music and Charlie’s Angels. Long before it produced Helmut Lang, master of modern minimalism, the region was a source of stylish inspiration to heiress and fashion plate Millicent Rogers, who owned a chalet in the Alps and was known to mix Tyrolean garb with her Schiaparellis, as well as to Mademoiselle Chanel, whose famous four-pocket jackets are said to have been influenced by the uniform of a lift operator at the hotel Schloss Mittersill, once owned by her lover Baron Hubert von Pantz. As Chanel presents its Métiers d’Art collection in Salzburg, we track Tyrolean tracht (that’s costume for the non-German speakers out there) in fashion and pop culture.

Schloss Leopoldskron
A few moments before the beginning of the Métiers d'Art 'Paris - Salzburg' show

“I’ve been coming here for years; I first took pictures here 26 years ago,” said Lagerfeld, holding court on the wide terrace at the Schloss Leopoldskron, the rococo palace best known for its appearance in The Sound of Music, ​whose opulent, interconnected second-floor apartments were, for the day, a runway. Returning to Salzburg meant a Tyrol-influenced take on the conceit at the center of the Chanel philosophy; a modern, liberated woman more lederhosen than dirndl, so to speak though “the collection has none of that kitsch,” said Lagerfeld, citing instead “the sophistication of Millicent Rogers,” the Standard Oil heiress (herself, no stranger to a puffed sleeve). “The Schloss Leopoldskron is where Max Reinhardt founded the Salzburg festival,” Lagerfeld continued.  

“This was the seat of intellectual and cultural creative genesis.” And judging by the show, it continues to be: Suede and denim short-shorts were embroidered like lederhosen and paired with thigh-high boots and ribbed cashmere tights; decadent Lemarié plumage took flight in a turquoise-colored feathered cape and a short tuffet of a skirt that looked to be made of butterfly wings; high-collared white lace blouses were encircled at the neck with velvet ribbon chokers; and the pearl-bedecked cuffs of tulle-tied tweed jackets dripped with lace.

It was in Austria where Coco Chanel found the inspiration for the four-pocketed braid-trimmed jacket that would become her legacy (having spotted a version on a lift operator at the hotel Schloss Mittersill, then owned by the bon vivant Baron Hubert von Pantz, with whom she had, Karl Lagerfeld explained on Tuesday morning, “a hot affair in the early 1930s”). And so it was in Austria where Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show took place this season Salzburg being the latest location in a series of peripatetic collections that have taken Lagerfeld and his merry band of supermodels to such farflung locales as Edinburgh, Bombay, and Dallas.

Long coats and short capes in ocher, crimson, and loden green were trimmed in gold chain and gilded swirls of sequins; a capelet exploded with Lesage embroidery and floral appliqués; nubby, cream-colored Barrie cashmere dresses buttoned up the back in gold, while heath-colored cardigans were piped and collared in the crimson of traditional Trachten jackets. Trousers came cropped and ruched at the knee (the better to show off the glossy, quilted-block-heeled patent leather boots and loafers) or were wide-cut with contrasting tuxedo stripes, and flora and fauna appliqués bloomed and ran riot on everything from a hard-sided bag to chiffon blouses.

Maison Michel–helmed felt hats were topped with large feathers, a take on the styles sported at Bavarian boar shoots, while some models wore “hairphones,” headphones styled to look like coiled Heidi braids. Evening came black and full-skirted or slim-cut to the mid-calf, accented in satin ribbons and sparkling brooches, quilted and ruched and smoothly satin with the occasional edelweiss embroidery or appliqué, though the “bride” Cara Delevingne, who clasped hands with Lagerfeld and held a half-eaten pretzel in the other for the designer’s bow wore layers of ruffled lace-inset frills in pure white, cinched at the waist with a thick black belt encircled with diamanté CC’s and tied at the neck with a thick velvet bow. Back on the terrace, Geraldine Chaplin, who has played Coco Chanel in two of Lagerfeld’s films (including the newly premiered “Reincarnation”) had slipped into an edelweiss-embroidered patch-pocketed jacket straight off the runway to greet the designer, who summed it all up neatly: “The Baron von Pantz wrote a memoir with a title I love,” said Lagerfeld, “No Risk, No Fun!

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories 

Photo Credit/Source: The House of CHANEL

“Reincarnation” is the new short film created and directed by Karl Lagerfeld to accompany the CHANEL Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 Métiers d'Art collection shown on December 2nd, 2014 in Salzburg. This new short film was the perfect opportunity for Karl Lagerfeld to develop an artistic collaboration with Pharrell Williams, a close friend of the House and personal friend of the designer. In fact, the artist composed and wrote the lyrics to "CC The World," the original soundtrack for Reincarnation, and he also plays one of the lead roles and will be, along with Cara Delevingne, the face of the upcoming campaign of the Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 Métiers d'Art collection.

 Cara Delevingne and Pharrel Williams in 'Reincarnation'

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