Feminine. Gorgeous. Frayed. The Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection is an exercise of beautiful decay. Fabrics were frayed and had a look of wear and tear that added an edge to the otherwise frilly pieces. A color palette of the iconic Chanel black and white with splashes of pastels adorned an otherwise black-scale French garden set at the Grand Palais in Paris. An eighty-piece orchestra accompanied the models as they sashayed to the music of Björk, the Verve, and John “007″ Barry.
The traditional Chanel suit was updated with a few twists: 3/4 sleeve and short sleeve swing coats, large lapels and short shorts instead of skirts. The shorts were very tiny and I wonder if real women can pull them off. To me, they seem like they would only look good on supermodels who are super skinny and have legs that go on for days. Many of the looks were embellished with flowers, feathers and/or lace making the looks ultra-feminine and etheral. One of the most exciting parts of the apparel collection was Chanel for bébé – a little boy walking hand-in-hand with a male model donning a Chanel jacket. No official word, but maybe this is a hint at a children’s collection to come.
As is always the case for me, the accessories stole the show. My mouth literally watered as I went through the detail shots of the shoe. Uncle Karl never forgets about the dainty digits and his gloves for this collection were awesome. From zippered to cut out, from floral to metal mesh – the gloves in this collection were stunning. The costume jewelry included usual suspects like pearl strands and cuffs but also included a lot of metal chain work with multiple strands. Clear chunky bangle bracelets with pastel colored stripes were fun way to add color to monochrome outfits.
The quilted bags were gorgeous and one of my absolute favorites was the oversize clutch with oversize quilting. Available in several colors, my desire for this bag is only second to my desire for a classic 2.55. The very best accessory totally stole the show – and it was the most unique one of its kind that I have ever seen. A model walked the runway with an oversize umbrella that was shaped like a hat – so simple, yet so GENIUS! This umbrella is easily the best umbrella ever created. I don’t have much to say about the shoes (gasp!) because I didn’t like them
Peter Philips always does a wonderful job of translating Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches into actual looks. A neutral face was highlighted by a very dark smokey eye, the color echoing the black-scale garden set. Hair was straight and pulled back with side or center parts with all parts having a black line drawn in giving us a new use for black pencil eyeliner. Nails were painted in what looked like a dark grey gunmetal color called Black Pearl. More details to come on the Beauté collection.