Chanel Fashion, News & Trends

La Chanelphile

March 9, 2011

Chanel Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

For the Chanel Spring 2011 show, Karl took us to the grayscale gardens of the black and white move Last Year in Marienbad.  For Fall-Winter 2011/2012, the gray gardens of spring were transformed to black, smoldering volcanic-like rock.  Models walked a wooden runway that ran a great length of the Grand Palais with smoke rising from beneath their feet with the images of scorched trees etched (appropriately enough) onto the backdrop. All this set to the backdrop of “Michel Gaubert’s thundering orchestral revision of the Cure’s seminal goth classic ‘A Forest’”. (Style.com)  The backdrop and the music set the stage (pun intended) for the somber palette of the Fall-Winter collection.

The Clothing

When I first went through the collection my first thought was “this is real clothing.”  Of course all the shows feature real clothing, but this was different.  I always gush about how I want everything – and usually it would be to wear to glamorous red carpet events – that I’m not actually going to.  But the clothing in this show was stuff I could actually wear – in real life.

Coco Chanel was heavily influenced by menswear but her collections, as well as Karl’s are usually very feminine.  This time, the boy meets girl vibe of the show wasn’t very frilly at all.   Stretch denim jeans paired with motorcycle boots and utility jumpsuits gave the collection a tough edge.  Utility boots with attached wide, wool, slouchy cuffs gave all the looks an otherwise refined look a casual twist.  Wide leg trousers with cuffs above the ankle paired with simple shoes (reminiscent of the pointy toe flats we saw at the Spring Couture show) was the most feminine take of the menswear inspired collection.

I’ve always been a fan of jumpsuits and to see so many on the Chanel runway – in so many different fabrications was very exciting.  From tweed to quilted leather, the jumpsuit went from “ladies who lunch” to moto-chic.  I liked the way Karl played with proportions – lots of shrunken jackets layered over longer jackets (some were two in one), wide, slouchy trousers and big rounded shoulders emphasized small waists.  I wouldn’t quite call this a grunge moment, but I think it will be the closest we’ll ever see Chanel get to grunge.

The Accessories

The accessories, as usual, were very exciting for me.  There seems to be some new bag silhouettes, a boxy one in an array of sizes with varying lengths of chain strap.  It’s a pretty simple leather silhouette with an interesting clasp (not the usual CC).  There was also a small, round, quilted leather bag that models held as if they were bouquets.  Brooches added embellishment everywhere from waists to hair and it would be a Chanel show without gloves – lace ones!  We also found lace in unexpected places like headbands – so pretty!  The shoes were interesting and ran the gamut from heels to motorcycle boots.  I loved the pointy flat shoes from the Spring Couture show and Lagerfeld brought them back for the ready-to-wear show but this time he added a short heel.

Hair & Makeup

The hair was no frills and it went along with the general theme of the show.  Very slightly wavy hair was side-parted and put in slightly disheveled side buns.  Hair accessories like brooches and headbands dressed up the otherwise simple looks.  Peter Philips did a beautiful job with the makeup and the palette had an overall metallic glow that was a nice contrast to the subdued palette of the clothing.  Eyeshadow was silvery with and lips were kept nude to focus the attention on the dramatic eye makeup.  Not sure what color was on the nails, it looked a bit like Steel in some photos, and in others it looked like a color similar to Steel but lighter.  I’ll keep you posted as soon as I find out!

Overall it was another beautiful collection and what I loved most about this collection was that I could actually see myself wearing these pieces in my actual (not fantasy) life.

The Full Show Video

The Musical Inspiration

The Full Collection

Images: Style

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Filed under: Chanel — Tags: , , , , — La Chanelphile @ 11:20 am


  1. I am loving the nail polish (as usual!) and I really hope they are cream eyeshadows!

    I totally agree about the collection, all very wearable on a daily basis. I loved the gothic tone of the show, beautiful!

    Comment by Alison — March 9, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Hi Alison,
    Do the cream eyeshadows stay on better? How do they blend? I’m afraid of cream eyeshadows because I have the greasiest eye lids in the world and eyeshadow just ends up in the creases of my eyelids :(

    Comment by La Chanelphile — March 9, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  3. Does anyone know if Michel Gaubert’s incredible remix of The Cure’s “A Forest” (that was used in the Chanel show) is available for purchase and/or download. I have hunted everywhere for it and cannot find it.

    Comment by Elwood — March 14, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  4. Hmmm, not sure. That would be amazing though! I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

    Comment by La Chanelphile — March 14, 2011 @ 10:24 am

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