Chanel Fashion, News & Trends

La Chanelphile

October 4, 2011

Chanel Spring-Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Chanel Spring-Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection“I love the sea — it’s very mysterious, and fish scales seem so modern; there was everything but mermaids!”
-Karl Lagerfeld (NYTimes)

I’m not sure where Karl Lagerfeld got his inspiration for his aquatic inspired collection – could it have been all the time Coco Chanel spent on the Flying Cloud with the Duke of Westminster?  Wherever inspiration may have struck, Karl is always able to take the seedlings of the idea and make them flourish into Chanel elegance.

For the Chanel Spring-Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear collection the Grand Palais was transformed into a whitewashed underwater scape with oversize algae, sand dollars, sea horses, fish, seashells and whales.  One particular shell opened and Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine appeared singing her siren song, “What the Water Gave Me” to accompany the models walking down the runway.  A male model (not Baptiste Giabiconi) stood at her side in a men’s bathing romper as her protector.

The models all appeared through a structure filled with what looked like sea foam – each one a modern day Botticelli Venus emerging from the sea in etheral Chanel.  The color palette was very light and neutral with some hints of the blue-green of the sea, light coral, sand and very little black.  Since it was an aquatic theme, the ubiquitous leather woven chains and cuffs were replaced with another Chanel signature – pearls.

Pearls were everywhere on the apparel (on the beauty as well – you’ll see in a separate upcoming post) – all buttons and belts were pearls.  The looks were a departure from the oversize looks and skirts-over-pants that we’ve seen from the past few Chanel collections.  Jackets were cropped with 3/4 sleeves, dresses were short and form-fitting.  Aquatic references included netting sewn into the clothing giving us a new “sheer”, iridescent fabric and beading that looked like glimmering waters or mother-of-pearl and origami folds of sheer fabric that were reminscent of fish gills.  All of this was juxtaposed with black geometric lines on some of the looks. The accessories all got the aquatic treatment with bags shaped as conches and covered with pearls and shoes with shoes with conch-shaped heels.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the details of the collection, beauty, scene and front row.

Images: Style

**Update – I thought from the photo it was Baptiste Giabiconi standing near Florence Welch but it was not.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Ready To Wear — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 6:52 pm


  1. the boy in the show is not baptiste, baptiste was actually sitting between mario testino and ines de la fressange

    Comment by roberto — October 6, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  2. Hi Roberto!
    Thanks for the correction. I updated the post.
    :) Gabriella (La Chanelphile)

    Comment by La Chanelphile — October 6, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

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