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Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Chanel Spring 2013

Solar panels and wind turbines scattered the set of the Chanel runway inside the Grand Palais in Paris, but this collection has little to do with sustainability or an environmental message. Instead, it has everything to do with energy, and Karl Lagerfeld is nothing if not an energetic designer, working ceaselessly on multiple collections per season. This time, he takes the elements that power the earth –sun and wind – and turns them into a breezy, light-filled Spring/Summer 2013 collection. One welcomes the challenge of the summer months with clothes this fresh and beautiful.

The story unfolds with classic Chanel looks: black-and-white lean-silhouetted pieces in polka dots and leather, some dotted with giant pearl appliques. It was a ladylike beginning, but Lagerfeld gets restless with predictability, so a sudden change takes place. A-line shift dresses and cropped bolero cuts start dominating the runway, changing the lines of the silhouette and manipulating the female form into bulkier, boxier proportions. One particular topper, a cropped, three-quarter-sleeve jacket featuring a flat Peter Pan collar, was a radiantly youthful example of the direction of this collection. Elsewhere, he showed striped chunky heels, alluring hula-hoop bags, Pyrex hats, oversized blown-up tweed-printed dresses, and even completely sheer suits trimmed in pastel marabou feathers. Lagerfeld closed the show with a series of simple white gowns, each embroidered in spectacularly colorful flowers that seemed to jump off the stark background of the fabric. This was a playful presentation that imbued the audience with energy.

written by GRACE GORDON|photos: courtesy of GoRUNWAY

-October 3, 2012

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