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Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Chanel Fall 2012

The Chanel runway, lined with three tons of miniature crystals and jutting with giant crystal stalagmites, was an icy, otherworldly backdrop to a show of cozy knits and enveloping tweeds. Karl Lagerfeld’s desire to blend the organic with the manmade resulted in a collection of crystal-embellished attire fused with cubist artistry. From this lofty concept, Lagerfeld was able to execute a new silhouette that pushed the layering concept to the extreme.

Models with raked back hair and severe eyebrows – studded with crystals by Lesage – offered a contemporary take on more than a few references to 90s fashion. By 90s fashion, we mean the oversized knit sweaters in layered block patterns, the lamé shield decorations, and the chunky, plumped-out silhouette that offered protection against nature’s harshest elements. The Chanel runway packed utility jackets over knee-length skirts over stovepipe trousers on the slim frames of the models. The outerwear came in a sloping, less-fitted shape as Lagerfeld dropped the same of the shoulder to the upper quadrant of the bicep and finished it all with bracelet sleeves. It was an interesting change of pace to the tight tailoring he is usually known for. He also reversed his normal neutral palette by adding big splashes of color: teal, citron, chartreuse, and royal purple all took their turns on the catwalk. Cubism was an inescapable reference as it informed the dizzying, 3D shapes of maxi-coats and oversized jackets. He eschewed fur in favor of feathers, and the latter eveningwear looks were coated in dark feathers scattered with shots of glittering crystal. There was a rough, steely edge to this collection, even though – in comparison to others –the colors were certainly brighter.


written by GRACE GORDON|photos: courtesy of GoRunway

-March 7, 2012

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