Chanel's flight of fancy
today Oct 6, 2015
Merely the name 'Chanel' calls to mind dreamy images of the kind of elegant, jet-setting lifestyle enjoyed by the rich and famous, so it was only natural that the house's Spring / Summer 2016 runway show would be staged in a mock airport in Paris.
As always, designer Karl Lagerfeld went all-out with the setting, incorporating check-in desks, departure boards and designer luggage into the landscape. And there was no doubt that movement in all its forms was the essence of the show.
The collection was both a practical and fanciful interpretation of the concept of travel. On the one hand, there were clothes that looked like they could genuinely be worn long-haul. From comfortable jogging pants covered in a cute airplane motif to silky pyjama-style jackets and loosely flared trousers, the pieces looked snug, fluid and breathable and were a far cry from the house's traditional more structured tweeds.
On the other hand, there were delightfully conceptual looks, featuring voluminous proportions such as exaggerated tiered tulle skirts layered over trousers and under coats. Futuristic details such as the fetish-like Perspex silver lace-up boots and reflective glasses worn by the models hinted that this was not merely a geographical trip, but also a journey through time -- and perhaps even space.
The Spring / Summer 2016 Chanel woman is obviously a bit of a wanderer, and this was referenced via ruched skirts, tribal-looking jewelry and frayed denim flares that suggested a chic backpacker or a stylish hippie. There were also plenty of Peruvian-looking bright knits and soft checks that almost drifted into tartans. Yet she has an edgier, playful side, too, and the show's final few looks showcased industrial black fabrics teamed with metallic studded tops for an urban party look.
However, this being Chanel, there were of course plenty of those elegant trademark tweeds, livened up in vibrant shades of blue and purple and paired with baseball-style caps and chunky jewelry, or studded with diamantes to imitate quilted stitching. Despite the youthful styling, the chic jackets, slender pencil skirts and sharp pea coats will cater to Lagerfeld's core clientele and those looking to channel the house's signature quality -- namely, a world-class stylish savoir-faire.
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