Chanel Haute Couture AW2012
Haute Couture Fashion Week continued today with Chanel presenting a beautifully wearable collection inspired by the late Coco herself. Designer Karl Lagerfeld displayed an incredibly prim yet elegant collection to the eager crowd, with Alexa Chung, Sofia Coppola, Anna Wintour and Diane Kruger (who looked stunning in a black beret and cornflower blue dress from the Chanel's Resort 2013 collection), all in attendance.
The runway itself was simple in comparison to the theatrical aluminum plane Karl presented in during Spring/Summer Couture Week - a slate catwalk was flanked by a row of white wicker tables and chairs, ensuring all eyes were fixed on the couture. The show, entitled New Vintage, certainly lived up to its name as the first of the models appeared in classic tweed suits that evolved into a modern ensemble when teamed with metallic ombre gloves, matching clutch bags, and shimmering silver tights (which we're betting everyone will want come Winter). Oversized tartan patterns adorned knitwear and stunning clean-cut coats, with sleeves rolled to emphasize an updated twist. Relaxed trouser and skirt suits paid tribute to the early years of Chanel, whilst cocoon style coats and heavily embellished detailing gave the collection its distinctly modern edge.
Karl's presence could certainly be found in the eveningwear, where black and silver reigned. Sheer billowing blouses, large bows tied at the neck, and Peter Pan collars emerged as the show moved forward, providing an overall playful tone. With a colour palette consisting of lilacs, pinks, charcoal and black throughout, the collection was pretty without trying too hard; even the dreamy appliqué florals and layered tulle appeared to have a tough undercurrent.
Favourite elements included futuristic finishes on fabrics and patent belts teamed with trousers. Stand out pieces include angelic feathered 'sleeves', a metallic maxi dress scattered with pompoms, and the pièce de résistance - the stunning bridal finale. The beauty may have been minimal (hair fell loosely from underneath the beanies, and eyes were framed with grey and blue shadows), but the craftsman ship was clear in the clothing - where it counts. Lagerfeld reportedly acknowledged that the work was hard for the seamstresses, as he announced, "the tulle with pearl took 3,000 hours", and described couture as "a world of privilege". That it is Karl, that it is...