In my mind Paris Fashion Week is the climax of the Fashion Week season. Maybe it’s the rich history of garment makers and couturiers associated with possibly the most famous of the fashion capitals of the world, or perhaps it is the big name designers like Stefano Pilati, Pier Paolo Piccioli, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Sarah Burton and their even more famous labels— Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Alexander McQueen. Either way it seems to never disappoint me, and this year is no exception. And so just as PFW is the climax to a great spring 2012 season, Paris Fashion Week also has a climax—Chanel.
The man who made a big splash in the U.S. this past August with his capsule collection for Macy’s found fans in Italy only a week ago with his collection for Fendi at Milan Fashion Week, and once again wowed the crowds at yesterday’s Chanel show in Paris. It is a wonder that one man, namely Karl Lagerfeld, can design so many distinct and truly awe inspiring collections.
Though I was a big fan of both the Macy’s and Fendi collections I must say that Lagerfeld really pulled out all the stops for Coco’s namesake. The Chanel jackets, skirts, tweed and the Lagerfeld collars were all present, but there was something decidedly new and fresh about this spring 2012 collection.
The fashion house has always been known for its strong feminine apparel, but this collection has undoubtedly taken it to the next level, and a younger one at that—this is not your mother’s or even grandmother’s Chanel. According to style.com this was exactly Lagerfeld’s goal noting that so many other people are already doing the “Chanel” style. The girly frill skirts and highly structured yet simple, button-up shirts were among my favorites and appear shockingly easy-to-wear…for a Chanel show that is.
The seaside inspiration could be seen in the various shades of shell white, corals, and sea foam green. An iridescent sequined dress and jacket were reminiscent of shimmering scales. Lagerfeld also played on the idea of seaweed as green iridescent pieces of fabric floated from the garments. The iridescent fabrics and pearl belts were Lagerfeld’s ode to mother of pearl markedly different from Armani’s greys and blues in Milan.
The pearls also found their way into the hair, on the ears, the faces, and down the backs of the models, and of course everyone will be wearing a pearly-white Chanel nail polish come springtime.
By Kristianne Young