Earlier this week, Karl Lagerfeld invited guests to discover the Chanel Fall-Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear collection from the front row in a décor reminiscent of the famous Rue Cambon salons where Gabrielle Chanel used to present her collections. “People complain that they can't see the clothes because they are too far away, so this season everybody is front row," said Lagerfeld.
For this collection, the designer has chosen to focus on the fundamental elements of the House that have been forever synonymous with the Chanel allure. Embracing mid-lengths and longer, the silhouette reasserts the emblematic codes of the House: over strict coats and men’s reefer jackets in wool, accumulations of long strings of pearls are worn like scarves.
In between boaters, helmets and riding hats, hats in tweed, felt or leather are held on with a strap adorned with byzantine crosses, pearls or camellias. On the models’ feet are boots with horizontal lacing and moccasins with a new heel that further accentuate the modernity of an attitude. Cat cuffs, emoticon jewellery, and bobbin and hanger handbags are some of the witty accessories that merrily punctuate the silhouette.
Tweed is black, grey and in a palette of pinks, reds and fuchsia: whether classic, woven or sparkling, it comes lined in gold, silver or bronze lamés, visible through zippered slits in skirts, reminding us of Gabrielle Chanel’s famous adage that everything should be as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
The iconic jacket is re-edited as a bolero, cropped and playing with trompe-l’oeil with the addition of a jersey hood and sleeves, or as a mix of denim and woven tweed with voluminous chiffon cuffs. Its breast pocket transforms into a smartphone holder. Shortened and narrowed, it’s worn on bustier and chasuble dresses. The coats are extra-long or adopt XXL volumes.
Others come in a pale-gold upholstery silk embroidered with chenille velvet, mini chains and gold beads. The gabardine trench coat becomes a maxi volume duster jacket. The dress coats in tweed are understated, zipped from top to bottom, or with an integrated tone-on-tone belt.
For evening, the lightest of pleats in chiffon or tulle contrast with patent leather lacing on delicate dresses. Lace and tulle frayed ruffles in shades of cream come together over tiered dresses. The little black dress is embellished with bows and flat pleats down the back. The fuchsia washed-satin alternates with richly embroidered lamé dresses adorned with jewelled plastrons and beaded straps.
For the Chanel Fall-Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear, Karl Lagerfeld revisits the allure and the codes of the House in a very contemporary spirit. Pharrell Williams, Anna Mouglalis, Willow Smith, Isabelle Huppert and the Taiwanese singer Jay Chou all applauded the collection from their front-row seats.
Photo Courtesy of Chanel