Fall 2013 Couture: Chanel

“On the way from the Old World to the New World” was the theme of Karl Lagerfeld’s latest couture collection for Chanel. Never one to shy away from theatrics, the post-apocalyptic stage setting at the Grand Palais encompassed the feeling perfectly – the old being represented as a crumbling theatre and the new as an inter-galactic cityscape, sparkling amongst the ruins. This old/new juxtaposition continued in the clothes, starting off with signature tweed suits – embroidery representing actual tweeds – with portrait necklines, and old era silhouettes (Victorian, Edwardian, you name it).

This was Karl’s mix of “tradition with future”. The medieval tunics, layered underneath cropped jackets all over thigh-high swede boots (so thin they had to be held up by garters), were mixed with new-world fabrics, 3-D effects and glittery sequins. Described by Karl as the “sparkle of stardust”, there were pavéed sequins, tweeds with Lurex, silvered grey flannel, lamé, and mirrors to create this new world feel amongst the traditional period proportion and detailing of the new world.

The beautiful detailing was even more intricate when taking a closer look at the pieces. For example, the tiled panel of the straight A-Line dress was based on origami with hundreds of squares made with tiny folds of coloured chiffon (see above) – the epitome of what a couture collection is all about – the exquisite detailing that only les petit mains could manage to create to perfection. Ending off with evening-wear – the dresses were breathtaking in liquid silver, dowager black-tulle and strips of silver and black beading on delicate silk. Always pressing forward and looking to the future – Karl delivered yet another beautiful collection – surely to be seen on many red carpets – and if this is the vision of the future, I wouldn’t mind it at all.