A forest has grown beneath the nave of the Grand Palais. Surrounded by blue sky warmed by a gentle sun, trees stripped bare by the season and a floor covered with autumn leaves compose an Indian summer, as Karl Lagerfeld says.
Within this decor, a palette of russets, reds and orange, moss and pine green, bark brown, prints of foliage or rings of grey wood, accompany the signature black and white of the House. Details so dear to CHANEL add their own touch: branch-like braids, jewelled buttons chiselled with leaves, sautoirs of beads and pastel-hued glass paste, necklaces and bracelets interlaced with chains and beads, cabochon and graphic pendent earrings.
The tweed, classic, downy, frayed or woven, alternates with broadcloth, cotton canvas, soft knits, corduroy and velvet. Thigh boots, boots and brogues in oxide gold leather, pink leather fingerless gloves, faux fur cuffs encrusted with feathers, and big colourful scarves all warm this modern and comfortable silhouette. “Chanel, it’s life itself, clothes that have a possibility of life”, adds Karl Lagerfeld.
The long and tubular silhouette is held with square shoulders, clean and high collars. It flares out little by little with godets and peplums in the style of horizontal double ponchos. The iconic jacket is lengthened to mid-thigh or worn short at the waist. The CHANEL suit is twisted with poncho peplums. Long pencil-cut, straight or double-breasted coats accentuate the purity of line. Each time, this is reinforced with a game of topstitching in relief.
Sometimes the sleeves are doubled with a draping from the shoulder, extended with unlined cuffs. The pencil line of skirts and dresses is interrupted with a slit, a godet and a slightly dropped waist. The belted trousers adopt exaggerated volumes. Large overcoats skim the floor, twisting the spirit of great capes by adding sleeves with wide turnback cuffs or sometimes cuffs and hems finished with feathers.
The new bag, named 31, created by Karl Lagerfeld joins the family of CHANEL accessories: the generous shape of this shopper combines smooth leather with quilted leather, printed cotton canvas or tweed. Large bags in shearling gently traverse the winter. This season the 11.12 bag is adorned with rhinestoned bark motifs. CHANEL’s GABRIELLE bag returns as a mini version to match the outfits. The camellia is transformed into a sparkling evening bag while a wooden log becomes a minaudière in precious resin.
The collection calls upon winter in a sophistication pushed to the extreme for evening. At its heart, CHANEL’s little black dress reaches its ultimate, refined and most obvious expression. Fragile dresses in embroidered tulle and organza are worn beneath a quilted down jacket finished with braid. Leather comes encrusted with lace over a little black dress with draped sleeves and is back as trousers worn with a chiffon blouse highlighted by multiple ruffles at the elbows.
Chevroned ribbons encase sheath dresses or a jabot adorns the collar of a dress in pleated tulle. Crêpe blouses are quilted at the shoulder and the wrists. Lace and black velvet are barely powdered with silver, sequins are just as subtle, never flashy. Capes in faux fur enhanced with feathers envelop layers of dresses in lace. Playing with the transparency of the material, their leaf inlayed motifs reveal the very veins of the foliage like a filigree.
This is the grace of nature, strong yet fragile, constantly reborn in all its splendour and purity. A perpetual renouveau reminding us that time has no influence on the icons, the style and the allure of CHANEL.