Karl Lagerfeld invited his guests to the Grand Palais to present the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection. Beneath the nave a real Parisian street, complete with pavements, scaffolding and 25-meter high Haussmannian buildings, appears to have risen from the ground – “a non-existent boulevard”, says Karl Lagerfeld. On the Boulevard CHANEL, the designer presents a woman whose look is self-assured. Wearing two-tone open brogues, “a mix of men and women’s shoes”, sandals and flat boots, she strides confidently forward, proud and determined.
In a whirlwind of colours, orange, pink, green, violet and blue blend with CHANEL’s iconic black, white and navy. Tweeds, crepe, leather and cotton twill mingle with light and gauzy fabrics including silk, cigaline, linen, cotton voile, organza and lace, in a play of lengths, transparencies and layering. A modern and contrasting combination of tennis stripes, embroidery inspired by Parisian paving stones, “peace & love” guipure lace, graphic pleats, floral prints and splashes of paint together give a breathe of freedom to the collection.
Distorting masculine-feminine codes, the collection seizes upon men’s tweed suits cut as double-breasted jackets, wide-leg trousers with turn-ups, and tunic-jackets with short sleeves worn with matching satchels. Still others come in striped flannel, veiled with Bertha collars for a lingerie effect, and are coupled with Bermuda shorts and wrap skirts. These masculine stripes also embellish jackets and trousers in vinyl. Long coats and short reversible capes in lightweight tweed come lined with floral silk. A motif we find once more on pleated skirts and blouses worn under painted tweed suits. The striped sailor top is lengthened into a knitted gilet-dress in beige, navy or white, and accessorized with matching boots.
Gradually the street changes tone and the silhouette becomes increasingly layered: the three piece suit with a spencer jacket, a fluid skirt and slim-cut trousers, vest-dresses in black lace and delicate blouses, wide-leg trousers under peplum mini-dresses. There are games of trompe-l’oeil over a dress embroidered with little flowers, dresses paved with slate and jackets with 3D inlays. Stripy Bermuda shorts are worn with diaphanous blouses and accessorised with belts, a leather clutch, sparkling gold tights, and gold shoes are imbued with a new femininity.
Dresses in cigaline with geometric motifs and the bustier mini-dresses with tight zebra folds of black stripes conclude the march and give way to a startlingly colourful finale.
Stay tuned to see our Chanel post next week.