Blossom of Chanel

Nadja Beschetnikova
January 24, 2018

Chanel's catwalk show is always a unique spectacle. Fashion house already transformed interior of the Grand Palais into an airport terminal and a Chanel-branded supermarket.
A stage for Chanel’s summer 2018 haute couture collection was a classic French garden with a fountain, sandy paths, and rose-threaded pergolas. The ambience only emphasized a natural elegance of tweed suits, feathered frocks, crystal embellishments. Each look on the catwalk was also crowned with a bouquet-topped veil.
The garden burst into blossom with hues of lime green, raspberry pink and Parma violet as models came on sashaying down the runway. Even the fingerless gloves, a Chanel in-joke nodding to Lagerfeld’s signature accessory, were encrusted with floral embroidery. Garments mirrored their botanical surroundings in both freshness and natural elegance.
Chanel's showcase is here to move us into a fairy tale.

According to the long-term tradition the show began with tweed bouclé suits. Iconic jackets were reinterpreted with a cropped fit and exaggerated shoulders. Tulip-shaped skirts and short floral lace dresses overlaid with long embellished organza intensified the feminine image of the new creations by Lagerfeld. Ensembles with tweed city shorts and sportier split skirts offer a good alternative for the hustle and bustle of the city.

As the collection moved from daywear to evening, flowers bloomed everywhere. Compared to a tenderness of pinky hues and girly silhouettes the last look of the collection could appear almost brutal. In spite of the fact that it was a wedding dress, or I'd better say suit. The bride look, perfectly presented by Dutch model Luna Bijl, which was accompanied by Lagerfeld's godson Hudson Kroenig, featured an elaborate bridal tux, complete with a button-down bodice, feathered skirt and white pants.

Another object of regard was, of course, Kaia Gerber, who performed in Paris her first season of couture. The daughter of Cindy Crawford has already served as girl number one during both the Pre-Fall and Spring 2018 collections, but debut at couture is something special for every model. And now Kaia had her big moment wearing a fabulous voluminous pastel pink cocktail dress with an embroidery on the bodice and eye-popping sleeves decorartion. The 16-year-old embodies the type of a youthful muse so Lagerfeld plans a design collaboration with Kaia for his own capsule collection of West Coast-inspired designs. 

Lagerfeld adorned his show with some other rising teenage stars, like Cara Taylor, who is still 15, which attracted critisism. The designer had to defend his choice of so young models.
“That is ridiculous. Kate Moss and Naomi (Campbell) all started at 12, 13, 14,” he said.

It's hard to imagine Chanel collection without a black dress. So among all the flowers the spirit of La petite robe noire fluttered in the air.  A graceful reincarnation of the ageless item was celebrated with a very 1920s feel, materialised  in organza ruffles, elegant lacework, and clinging silhouettes.

Chanel liberated women from their Edwardian corsets a century ago, making a women’s wardrobe snug but still elegant. This is still a core of the philosiphy of the fashion house. Cosy ankle boots with low heels were just another chic reminder of the Coco era.

Chanel’s summer 2018 haute couture show proved that Lagerfeld’s effort to future-proof the label attracting a younger demographic with its ready-to-wear collections doesn't mean that the needs of the seasoned Chanel shopper are forgotten.