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Chanel Fashion, News & Trends

La Chanelphile

July 6, 2011

Chanel Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture Collection: Les Allures de Chanel

Chanel Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture Collection: Les Allures de ChanelThe Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture collection, called Les Allures de Chanel, was an homage to Mademoiselle and her mysterious charm. The Grand Palais was recreated into Coco Vendôme, a dark recreation of Place Vendôme, the home of The Ritz where Coco Chanel lived. There was an eery Film Noir mood with the set cast in black with neon lights outlining the structure and windows. Sitting high atop the center column was a robotic version of Coco herself, replacing the statue of Napolean that you would find at Place Vendôme. Models walked around the square – some say the shape that inspired the Chanel N°5 bottle – amid lampposts as if taking a late night stroll.

For Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture collection it seems Karl Lagerfeld set out to answer one question: How many ways can I design a peplum? The answer is a collection that shows a vast array in many fabrics. The peplum was popular in the 1940s – the era of Film Noir‘s hey day.  Cascading, layered, tweed and beaded.  Any kind of peplum you could imagine was present.  My favorite was one worn by Stella Tenant (pictured above) with layered pieces of fabric that were all hand cut.  The peplum curves were echoed in rounded shoulders.

In contrast to the curves of the peplum drawing attention to the waist, we saw straight styles that eliminated the waist made popular in the 1920s, notably by Coco Chanel.  Many dresses in fact seemed directly inspired by collections designed by Gabrielle Chanel (stay tuned for an upcoming post with images!).  In addition to the straight dresses, another early Chanel reference was the boater hats that all of the models wore – a style that Chanel also wore and popularized.  Karl took us from the 1920s, to the 1940s and then to the 1950s when she returned to the world of fashion and gave us her infamous tweed suits.

Les Allures de Chanel has something for every Chanelphile to appreciate and admire.  I myself never tire of seeing all of the exquisite detail that goes into every item.  Even pieces that look simple are deceptively so.  That Karl can make something so intricate look simple is a testament to his genius.  I especially loved the lace over the eyes – something we’ve seen before in the Spring 2007 Chanel Haute Couture show – but something I don’t tire of.  From what I could see there was a seriously smokey eye underneath the lace veil – something that goes perfectly well with the Femme Fatale / Film Noir feel to the collection.  More to come soon on the set, inspiration and details of the collection.  For now, enjoy all of the images and videos…


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