Any time we run into the French luxury fashion house Chanel under the tutelage of strong maverick man Karl Lagerfeld, we know it for sure that the venue of the runway show is to be chosen Grand Palais, but however paradoxical it may sound, we are equally sure to see Grand Palais to be absolutely unrecognizable. The spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection presented last year in October was held in Grand Palais Airport, while the fall 2015 couture collection saw the same venue transformed into a casino. Today in the morning Lagerfeld once again shuffled his cards jumping from high life casino to eco-conscious Japanese rock garden to showcase the Chanel Couture spring/summer 2016 collection.
We saw the same Grand Palais this time assuming a disguise of miniature stylized landscape with grass and sky, little lily pond, fir trees and a wooden geometrical house standing in the center, which was in anticipation to hear the command “Open sesame!” to unlock its doors and declare the Chanel Couture spring 2016 show started. Lagerfeld’s favorite Cara Delevingne this time around was not among the catwalk walkers, but sitting in the front row holding her funny husky dog, Leo on her laps and getting prepared to take pleasure in the eco system a la Lagerfeld.
“This is high-fashion ecology. It must not look like some sloppy demonstration!” Lagerfeld announced in his usual audacious manner and kicked off to wine and dine us with recycled paper, organic woven yarn, 3D frills, a plethora of beads, paisleys, sequins, rhinestones, itty-bitty mosquito brooches and… you will not guess for all the tea in China, shaved wood particles. A vest paired with white glittering shirt is all encrusted with tiny square wooden pieces making a mosaic floor right on the model; a midi pencil skirt is representing a chaotic congregation of wood chips, while an amazing tunic + midi skirt combination had undoubtedly come into life when Mr. Lagerfeld was sharpening his colorful pencils.
The show’s beginning was as usual making a reference to Chanel’s neat fitted jackets that were demonstrating Lagerfeld’s so favorite puffed sleeves with collars standing steadfastly, staying away from the neck, while the matching skirts were mainly in midi length, whether pencil-shaped or becoming more and more flaring and slouchy. Some jackets were even teamed with classic culottes with hems going more and more bell like.
We do not have any clue how much time has been spent on working out and engineering this ample 73-piece collection but it is no brainer to guess that hours spent are incomputable. Every single ensemble was literally a piece of art, worth to stand somewhere in a museum. Just cast a glance at the pleated beige pencil dress with panels of wooden beads decorating it, the exquisite crocheted cover-up top embellished with stones; it is impossible to let by an intricate beige dress with zigzag like texture sleeves going poppies, the bodice all covered with wooden flecks, while the bottom representing cascading floral petals. We have never been so much inspired by sleeves than today in the morning when Lagerfeld treated us to a modicum of pieces with fan-like sleeves attached to them.
A-class supermodels and best friends Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid were also there strutting along zen garden panels, the former decked into an all-black lacy dress with geometrical panels all embellished with twinkling stones, while the latter rendering one of those grandiose capes worn over a strapless glittering dress. The amazing Chanel Couture spring 2016 collection jammed-packed with beige was paying homage to Chanel’s favorite color. “Gabrielle Chanel was the queen of beige,” declared Lagerfeld. But the reigning beige was living quite peacefully with navy blue, white, ivory, black and at times even with a smattering of vibrant shades.
The round-toe cork wedges with curved heels were to make models’ catwalking process super graceful and comfortable, while their eyes exposing two upper and down black waves are still to be copied by the most eccentric figures among us. The fanny packs serving as belts as well were in attendance on every single ensemble to hide iPhones and not to leave the sui generis girls without contact.
Mica Arganaraz was selected to close the show appearing with a dreamlike wedding-ready intricately textured floral dress, the train gracefully touching the grass paired with a mind-blowing tufted hoodie. But surprises did not end in here. The wooden slats of the house opened to show the models standing like mannequins and this is what we call reaching the level of a museum.
Photos courtesy of Vogue