Thursday 19 January 2012

    dark nostalgia :: Channelling Coco Chanel

    dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight. ~ Chanel Couture fall 2011

    Les Allures de Chanel was an homage to Mademoiselle and her mysterious charm.

    Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture collection had something for every Chanelphile.

    Sparkly tweed, muted gray, black and white suiting paired with knee length boots

    ~ the iconic Chanel suit morphs into something slightly different with each season.

    The finale  was darkly romantic with sleek silhouettes and a starry nighttime setting

    as crystal adorned skirts and gowns floated by.

     For the 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…. 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. 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. la chanelphile

    Couture at Night

    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. la chanelphile

    The traditional couture collection finale was the bride, who, like all the models, wore a blindfold-like headpiece and ostrich feather-covered boater hat. The gown had a medieval feel with a high neckline  and ecclesiastical train.

    Twinkle toes! As the spectacle drew to a close, the models appeared for a final walk in the dark, illuminated only by laser-sharp LED beams on the the tips of their shoes.

    Presented at the regal Grand Palais, the runway took the form of a dark city street complete with lamps, building facades, and a starry night sky. The show was staged around a dramatic set which recreated the famous Place Vendôme in the centre of the city, a very short distance from Mademoiselle Chanel’s first boutique on rue Cambon and the Hôtel Ritz is located at number 15 on the Place Vendôme.

    Les Allures de Chanel took place under a crystalline vault sparkling with stars ~ presented after nightfall because Lagerfeld wanted dark skies over the glass ceiling in the Grand Palais to show off his neon-outlined set, complete with perspex street lights and twinkling black floor.

    {Images: Chanel Haute Couture F/W 2011/2012, via obsessee}



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