Monday, 30 January 2012

Haute Couture | 154 Shades of Blue by CHANEL

CHANEL Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 Collection by Karl Lagerfeld

One hundred fifty four shades of blue. Karl Lagerfeld commented towards Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he was inspired by the wonderful blue eyes of his new Burmese-cat "Choupette" (in German: Schnuckelchen), which Karl was getting offered for last Christmas; a wonderful white animal with a very subtle marking.  And recently, he said, he's been looking at the jewels the artiste Suzanne Valadon owned, studded with blue chalcedony.

Karl Lagerfeld was in the cockpit. The passengers were seated in the flight simulator, a futuristic cabin constructed in a room somewhere under the roof of the Grand Palais. Cue takeoff for Chanel's spring haute couture: the collection made in blue - 154 shades of it, to be precise. Why blue? The sky, of course, in all its infinite changeability. "It's the color of air, no?" announced Captain Karl, once the "flight" had landed and the audience was disembarking. "It's the most becoming color. And I'm bored with the red carpet, so why not a blue carpet?" 

Enjoy CHANEL Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 Fashion Show at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea

Hardly. The vision presented by the Chanel show was streamlined, upboat, and forward-looking, quite the contrast with the decadent-Ray, drowned-world and scorched-earth scenarios that Lagerfeld arranged around his most recent collections. The guests took their seats in a simulacrum of a commercial space shuttle flight that, during the course of the show, left the Earth's atmosphere nd headed for space. Toward the finale, the Earth actually passed overhead, across the clear dome that allowed passengers a view of the starry sky outside.

But the collection was scarcely the futurist extravaganza that such a setup promised. The key point in the presentation was a new fashion attitude. It's the sort of lip service notion to whuich designers often tip thier caps, but in Lagerfeld's case, he delivered. How? By elongating his proportion even lower than dropped waist to thigh-top, so that when the models walked with their hands tucked in slash pockets, they looked, the designer said, "like boys whose jeans are slipping off." The boygirl thing is a Chanel staple, and Lagerfeld has found a contemporary exemplar in Alice Dellal, who today was placed in the perculiar position of watching dozens of women styled to look just like her parading past her front-row perch. Think of stretched-out necks and pushed-up sleeves on sweatshirts and you've go other key components of the silhouette.

The youthful slouchiness of the attitude was acounterpoint to the byzantine complexity of the techniques that created the clothes. "A lot of it isn't even fabric," Lagerfeld said. "It's embroidery". And if it wasn't that, it was cellophane. Or something else unlikely. And yet, there was a classic elegance about the result. The stretched-out neck was a portrait neckline, the pushed-up sleeves were a perfect bell. The long, lean length that ended just above the ankle was culture incarnate. And the cellophane shimmered like the finest silk.

It wasn't a collection that needed any explanation to validate it or, truth be told,  even such an elaborately (and wittily) constructed set to put it in context. The clothes, from the simple, chic color-blocked dresses, to the treatments of Chanel tweeds, to the long skinny dresses, simply spoke for themselves, with no too-obvious pums or tropes about air travel to obscure the beautiful view. The show opened with clean , supple day dresses bisected with deep bands as stand-away collars. It was a gesture of ease which called to mind Coco Chanel's own habital stance, creating a long-waisted framework for Lagerfeld to work variations in the proportions throughout. To begin, shorter dresses sometimes picked up a flippy volume in the skirt, like a lovely swing of pale-blue duchesse satin beneath a beaded navy dress and short jacket. Then the silhouettes became longer and slimmer: rigorous ankle-length coatdresses, a sequence of narrow skirts slit at the side, the attenuated proportions als emphasized by airy, ballooning sleeves on copped jackets.

Cohesive and rigorous as the theme was, this was also a collection that demonstrated Chanel haute couture decoration and embellishment to the fullest extent, running from winking crystals and glints of Lurex in chic evening suits, to chunky crystalline embroidery on cocktail dresses with "winged" organza wraps, to slithery all-over paillettes. The variety encompassed something for every age and multiple tastes, from the pretty ingénue dress to the grow-up evening suit for the sophisticate. Karl is one couturier fully in control of every calibration of eveningwear imaginable. Chanel may be flying at the most rarefied of heights at this level, but the very sight of it was truly uplifting.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

Enjoy my previous CHANEL posts -

'CHANEL Paris-Bombay Pre-Fall 2012/13'

Collection Métiers D'Art

Spring/Summer 2012 Collection

1 comment:

Shagun said...

Incredibly aesthetic designs by Chanel. Classic elegance & subtle beauty. Couture is Infused with embellishments which enhance the glamor. I like the powder blue, transparent, drop waist long dress. A fabulous, eloquent review by you, dear Andrea!!!...Cheers, Shagun

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