In the Chanel Spring 2007 Haute Couture show models wore similar veils. The 2007 veils were not made of lace but look like they were made from tulle or chiffon. The main difference is that the 2007 veils had beading/rhinestones near the eyes. I can’t say which I like better – I love both of them. The lace veils are very runway/editorial – I wish I had the guts to wear this out. I need to be invited to a masquerade ball.
For Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2011/2012 pre-collection, Karl Lagerfeld created a fashion film called Evanescent Metamorphoses. Featuring Kristina Salinovic, the film shows her metamorphosis from androgynous to feminine. The dreamlike atmosphere plays on the ambiguity between masculine and feminine.
Evanescent Metamorphoses is lovely and probably one of Lagerfeld’s more successful films. It’s simple and elegant – perfect for showcasing the new collection.
Anna Wintour accepted Legion d’Honneur – the highest award in France – in a midnight blue beaded Chanel Haute Couture suit fresh off the runway. She looks very elegant and what better to wear than Chanel Haute Couture to accept such a prestigious award?
The 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…
Karl Lagerfeld asked Carine Roitfled, former Paris Vogue Editor in Chief, to style the Chanel Fall-Winter 2011/2012 campaign. The shoot took place in Paris and featured Chanel it-girl Freja Beha Erichsen. Karl Lagerfeld gushed, “The mix with Freja was genius.” In addition to styling for Chanel, Roitfeld will be keeping herself busy as a guest editor and stylist at Barneys New York this coming Fall.
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.
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, 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.