“Haute Couture is Paris”. Very attached to the capital city, Karl Lagerfeld pays tribute to literary Paris, the one for book lovers and the Académie Française, for Chanel AW18. Opposite the dome of the Institut de France, a décor of the Seine quayside lined with the world-famous book sellers’ “boxes”. An invitation to stroll that’s willingly accepted by Chanel’s Parisiennes, who wear folded cuff booties and are mischievously coiffed with Rockabilly quiffs and ponytails.
Autumnal Paris inspires the season’s colour palette: the pale grey of zinc rooftops, anthracite of street asphalt, black and a deep nocturnal navy, gold and silver reflections of the Moon in the rippling Seine. The pale pink and mauve of sunrise, the white, ecru and beige of cloudy mornings, the almond green of the roofs of historic buildings, all reinforce the gentle panorama. In this sublimated Paris, crystal embroideries aligned like cobblestones, tulles netted and embroidered with gold recalling the padlocks on the Pont des Arts, sound like a declaration of love to a city of fashion and culture, to a rich historical heritage.
Tweed, classic or plumetis, flannel, velvet, crêpe, lace, taffetas and chiffon adorn a slender silhouette. It adopts an original central theme: a zip embellished with braid splits the profile of skirts and jackets with narrow sleeves, sometimes framing them completely. A construction that structures an ultra-elegant look: as well as often-contrasting linings, the zips on long or knee-length skirts reveal a mini-skirt while those on the jackets expose an enhanced waist and, on the arms, long colourful fingerless gloves. Thus revisited, the iconic suit alternates with trompe-l’oeil dresses and long coats. It returns once more in painted organza imprisoning a sheet of embroidered aluminium. Jackets are also joined by pleated skirts. Chiffon blouses, high band collars, lace tops, and others with plastrons embroidered with sequins, beads and crystals, further enrich the collection.
For evening, the shoulders are split, the busts richly adorned, embroidered and draped with bows, in complete contrast to the understated skirts and lower part of dresses. Lightness and delicacy are the order of the day with a chiffon or tulle sweater warming an embroidered top. A draped and embroidered neckline in lace and silver tissue paper drops into a fluid sheath dress. Another in silk georgette is structured with an asymmetric drape from the shoulder. A bustier waistcoat embroidered like a sunset responds to a long straight skirt in chiffon tiered with flat pleats. Other bustiers are worn with bubble skirts in frothing tulle. The iconic Chanel black dress, lined with a miniskirt and a zipped bustier comes in braided tweed, or pleated silk georgette. An evening pyjama in organza and stitched aluminium lights up a twilight promenade with colour.
Karl Lagerfeld, the artistic director of the House, discusses the inspiration behind his AW18′ Haute Couture collection.
Finally, the bride steps out in a long straight dress and redingote-effect jacket in a pale green tweed embellished with leaves like those worn by members of the French Academy.