Is it something in the air in Paris? After a beautiful, yet surprising, presentation at Dior the previous day, Chanel yesterday showed another revolutionary collection that indicates that couture collections may be headed in a direction more modern than anyone could have ever imagined.
Could this signal the beginning of a revolution in couture?
In favor of their typically elaborate sets, both Dior and Chanel used all-white, futuristic settings in which to show the collections (a fact more impressive for Karl Lagerfeld chez Chanel, whose extravagant sets – think retro airplanes, dilapidated theaters, immense haystacks, and lush forests – reveal the much-anticipated theme of each collection). Both Dior and Chanel also showed incredibly light, yet incredibly modern, collections combined with shoes more suited to a New York Fashion Week presentation. Each look that came down the Chanel runway was accompanied by a pair of (admittedly very cool) couture sneakers, embellished with either lace, tweed, pearls, or python, made in collaboration with custom Parisian shoemaker Massaro. You would imagine this would be a collaboration more appropriate for Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous label and not the couture collection of the world’s most prestigious fashion house. Could this signal the beginning of a revolution in couture?
Lagerfeld’s own interpretation of these looks was “the incredible lightness of being”, and light they were. Models floated, skipped, and ran down the stairs of the set like fairies, some wearing elbow pads and kneepads in an athletic message that had its nose upturned to the codes of the house. Staying true to the codes, however, were the clothes, and this is where the couture designers and their respective ateliers really show their mastery of this skill set. Like the true works of craftsmanship you would expect from any Chanel show, the dresses were absolute masterpieces, in a palette so iridescent you could almost consider “shimmer” a color in itself.
Perhaps this is too much for the modern couture client to understand. After all, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel was the first proponent of comfortable attire for women, in a move that was then seen as radicalized and revolutionary for the industry. In and of itself, the collection may have its nose upturned to the heritage of the house but, in a beautiful way, this might just be Lagerfeld’s own revolutionary moment that is coincidentally an incredible tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel herself.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway