Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Paris Fashion Week: Chanel goes back to basics

Model Gigi Hadid, centre, wears a creation as part of Chanel’s Fall-winter 2016-2017 ready to wear collection presented in Paris, France, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. AP Photo/Francois Mori
Model Gigi Hadid, centre, wears a creation as part of Chanel’s Fall-winter 2016-2017 ready to wear collection presented in Paris, France, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. AP Photo/Francois Mori

Many of us wondered how Karl Lagerfeld could possibly top the extravagance of Chanel’s previous shows. Where do you go from a branded airport, supermarket and casino? Back to basics, is the answer. 

It started with the invite. On the front was a simple drawing of a single chair with the title reading: Front Row Only. As guests began to filter into the Grand Palais, what stood before us were single rows of plastic gold chairs that snaked around the brightly lit room, made to look like an atelier. Lagerfeld was taking us back to the days before the catwalk, when each new collection was presented before an intimate crowd.

The collection itself featured a colour palette that ranged from the brand’s trademark black and white to pleasantly surprising shades of pink. There was the iconic Chanel tweed suit in its signature midi-length, paired with boater hats with chin straps and turn-under brims, and matching knee-high boots. Sequin dresses gave way to a divine oversized quilted coat and a series of voluminous trenches. Strands of pearls, some with the double Cs, and gold chains spilt around necks, while black leather criss-cross lacing was seen on everything from the footwear to dresses. Though the collection was both beautiful and classy, it was also apparent that these pieces were made to be moved around in. Heels were low, jackets, though tailored weren’t stifling and skirts shifted as the models made their way up and down the aisles.

There really is something to be said about keeping things simple. Where previous shows took some of the attention off the clothes themselves, last week’s display drew it back onto the collection once more. This was, admittedly, refreshing. Extravagant displays make for an interesting experience, sure, but Lagerfeld has reminded us (whether intentionally or not), that when it comes right down to it, it’s the beautiful creations we are all here to see. And beautiful they certainly were.

Updated: March 13, 2016 04:00 AM

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