Under the vast glass dome of the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld had imagined a theatrical set as designed by Thirties designer-of-the-day Syrie Maugham. The black glass floor reflected a pleating of mirrored panels and the decorations were tall glass urns of sculptural calla lilies – mimicking the white of the sofas always used by Maugham. It was an elegant backdrop for a show that offered a classic Chanel couture. There were few tricks and gimmicks. Instead, Lagerfeld concentrated on designs that will warm the hearts of his couture customers with their elegance.
The starting point was a Giacometti sculpture with a long slim neck leading to a curved oval. He used this as the inspiration for the slightly high waist evident in all the daywear and a great deal of the eveningwear, and the tulip-shaped skirts. By raising the waist, the tulip was elongated to lose any trace of the bulbous and led to a collection of feminine Chanel suits in every shade of pastel and cream. Throughout, he cinched everything with a sporty broad belt to emphasise this waist position and to draw attention to the sharp, straight shoulders of the tailoring – a contrast to the sloping shapes seen in so many designers’ ready-to-wear. The models were given neat, tight hair by Chanel’s usual hairstylist Sam McKnight, all the easier to balance the traditional Chanel hat, this time with a soft crown so that it bore a resemblance to the classic gallette des rois, France’s Twelfth Night cake.
As daywear turned to evening, cloud colours in fabrics and stones were the dominant feature. Silvery greys, were trimmed with heavy crystals and delicate sequins, ballerina skirts floated from fitted bodices and the tulip shape was narrowed and lengthened, to beautiful effect in a dress of broad horizontal pleats that shimmered like a stormy sky as the model walked. Only a few times did a slash of deep colour appear, such as in a radiant violet floor-length skirt with matching A-line sleeveless tunic, and again and again the necklines were a sharp cut, nearly to the waist, meeting the belt and exposing the breastbone. Pearl ankle bracelets were worn with high silver pumps to accentuate the mirrored effect that was everywhere in this show.
When Lagerfeld’s current love object Lily Rose Depp appeared, as the final bride in a confection of floating pink petals, it was one of the few moments of frilled softness in a show that paid tribute to the angular style of the founding Coco, providing ways of dressing for both the businesswoman and the party-loving princess.
Chanel Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Indo western for men with polo pants 2017
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