“I always liked Versailles. I think more French you cannot do.” – Karl Lagerfeld (WWD)
On Monday, Karl Lagerfeld unveiled the Chanel Cruise 2012/13 collection set amidst the gardens and fountains of château de Versailles. Inspired by the château’s last residents Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, Karl’s collection was a delicate mixture of Rococo and Rock ‘n Roll. Perhaps inspired by his latest muse Alice Dellal, or Sofia Coppola’s rendition of Marie Antoinette, Karl stated: ‘It’s Coco Rock, Not Rococo!’
The soft pinks hues in the Chanel Cruise 2012/13 are reminiscent of sweet macaroons and were a soft counter-point to the stark black and white pieces of the collection. And, of course it wouldn’t be RoCoCo without some bold gold pieces and accents.
Karl Lagerfeld managed to make 18th century fashion modern. He reinvigorated historical items like panniers – the side hoops that extend the width of skirts on the side but are left flat in the front and back. We saw pannier-like references in everything from mini-skirts to shorts. For Chanel Cruise 2012/13 Karl Lagerfeld also brought back fichus, neck kerchiefs that are tucked into the neckline. In true Chanel fashion, Lagerfeld also borrowed from the boys and put the ladies in breeches – knee-length pants that fit snugly – and waist coats.
The fabrications included pastel tweeds, sheer fabrics like lace and chiffon, and lovely watercolor florals. I haven’t seen close up pictures yet but from a distance you can see the intricacy in the details – the ruffles, floral embroideries and beading – all of it makes the garments look as if they stepped out of the 18th century but look as fresh and modern as ever. Other highlights from the collection included cropped jackets, palazzo pants, a tweed cargo-pant “track suit and feminine little day dresses perfect for afternoon tea, sight-seeing, shopping, lounging and all the fancy things that people do who “cruise” in the winter.
As is my custom my eyes went to the accessories first, and apparel after. The shoes were a metallic mix of platform sneaker meets creeper. I personally was not a fan of the platform sneaker but I liked the heeled booties and sandals the models wore with dresses. There were new interpretations of the Boy Bag, translucent cuffs, chokers, wide-brimmed hats and most importantly a quilted watering-can – for your camellia garden of course.
The hair and beauty were gorgeous as always – I’ll be posting about it separately soon so stay tuned. In the mean time, enjoy… click on the first image to view larger photos in a slide show.