As a giant globe gently rotated beneath the dome of the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld’
s Chanel army marched on to world domination to the sound track of Daft Punk’s “Around the World”—and his ideas moved as fast and furious as they did. From their colored mink cloche hats cut like Louise Brooks bangs to their second-skin thigh-high boots garlanded with heavy metal hardware, they were moving billboards for Lagerfeld’s passion for emphatic lines, sophisticated embellishment, and his relentlessly fertile imagination. Lest we forget, Lagerfeld first showed those boots, a trend of the season, in his Chanel Spring haute couture show, and the predominant silhouette revolved around them—a short, full skating skirt, with an hourglass- or boule-shaped jacket or sweater above it. Even the dashing midi-length redingotes that opened the show had panels cut out in front to frame the leg—and the brace of full-length evening dresses were made from black organza that veiled but revealed the micro-dresses beneath.
Velvets and woolens in a moody palette of stormy grays and petrol blues dashed with sunset pinks were sparkled with subtle dustings of glitter, or decorated with strips of patent in place of the signature Chanel braids. Tweeds had an artisanal, hand-woven feel, and the embroideries were
similarly crafty—with three-dimensional layers of crochet flowers or spiky textural abstractions that seemed to have been embroidered from dressmaker pins.
A trio of sweater dresses, meanwhile, were skinny and mid-calf length, worked with random colored geometric motifs that evoked the work of the eighties Memphis designers of whom Lagerfeld was such a great champion, whilst marled autumnal knits had (to the modern eye) a flavor or early Missoni—although, Mademoiselle Chanel herself forged these techniques in the 1920s. A pair of jeans patched with flowery explosions embroidered in those same wools were a standout.
That globe reappeared as an adorable hard-leather swing purse—other stylish innovations included the classic quilted bag transformed into a clutch with a band to slot your hand through, or hooked into a horizontal U-shaped rod of tarnished steel. That dulled metal served the necklaces too—loops and loops of thick chain with a punk vibe replacing the house’s signature pearls.
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