Transpose the ambiance of 31, rue Cambon without copying every detail. That’s what Karl Lagerfeld had in mind for the presentation of the Spring-Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection at the Grand Palais. In a décor inspired by the 1930’s and Art Deco, the setting recalls the mirrors that reflect the grand staircase leading up to the CHANEL Haute Couture salons. This time it’s the beige sofas that seem to have multiplied. On the same principle a large cylinder acts as a kaleidoscope in the midst of the runway: in front of it, the models appear to pass by infinitely, their silhouettes also reflecting in the smoky mirrored tiles engraved with the iconic quilting motif.
With slicked back hair and a “flattened” top hat tilted backwards, and silver-leather high heels or thigh boots, this season’s look is all about a crazy femininity: with structured shoulders, defined and slightly raised waists, it reveals the accentuated hips. A glamorous silhouette reinforced by the presence of straight or tubular lines, daringly low-cut décolletés and faux pearl jewellery transformed into anklets. Alongside the major hues of white, silver and grey, the palette – illuminated each time with metallic, silver, sparkling and iridescent notes – blows hot and cold, moving from beige, pink, yellow, blue and pastel green through to black and navy.
With great delicacy, the tweed suits with embroidered braid are draped at the waist, thus enhancing the curves of their tulip skirts. Playing with trompe l’oeil they become dress-coats, the jacket appearing to be tucked into a pencil skirt. At the back, ample golf pleats ensure the utmost comfort. Just as feminine and worn with tweed jackets, the dresses with officer or lavallière collars are dressed up in shimmering tones. Pleated skirts and dresses are paired with coats in iridescent tweeds.
For evening, the silhouettes come swathed in radzimir, duchess satin, organza and taffetas, flocked and laminated lace, tulle, jacquard and georgette. The pearlised floral embroideries and glittering faceted stones shine over the sheath dresses and those with more generous volumes occasionally kept warm with stoles in tulle, feathers and lace. Sheath dresses take turns at being enveloped in floor-skimming mirrored embroidery, strips of sequin embellished lace, or balls of feathers. Draped bustiers embroidered with rhodoid flowers and leaves, big skirts and dresses in tulle, deep and square-cut necklines plunging to the start of the waist and marabou boleros: a delicate and gracious sensuality seizes this collection that concludes with the arrival of CHANEL ambassador Lily Rose Depp who walks the runway in a wedding gown composed of diaphanous flounces in pale pink organza.
This Tuesday, January 24th, the House ambassadors Vanessa Paradis, Anna Mouglalis, Caroline de Maigret, Alma Jodorowsky, G-Dragon and Shin Hye Park, the singer Cécile Cassel, the English actress Lucy Boynton as well as French actresses Laura Smet, Céline Sallette and Karidja Touré were all present at the Grand Palais to applaud the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection.#HC17#ChanelHauteCouture
It’s a collection in continuous evolution, constantly transformed by notions which arrive to challenge the primary idea; like a road trip where colours, shapes mutate in different landscapes. An astonishing pink, fuschia or “porcelain”, chosen specifically for its dialogue with a kraft brown sweater in knitted cotton viscose.
It’s a summer season which lets itself be guided by a principle of uninhibited classicism where the silhouette is more marked, and the waist underlined and smocked.
The practical utility of uniforms celebrates the nobility of the craft which is the history of this house, taken as another starting point: pragmatic habits – of life.
Giving meaning to the garment. The surface is considered as quilted prints, a tribute to the saddler world of Hermès. Then it all changes, becomes more fluid. These clothes should become our dear friends.
There are links. Mercerized cotton pieces that so closely unite leather panels in shiny calfskin one by one – to form a jalousiewhich then opens a conversation with the ready-to-wear, this double face knitted silk, this silk cigaline. Everything is symbolic. Here the uniform has left a few traces – the robustness of materials such as compact cotton satin, the obvious simplicity of denim cotton drill milled for a jacket or a straight edge coat.
There are the beginnings, a tangled maze of kinetic patterns which deliberately twist the Cavalcadour print originally created by Henri d’Origny for Hermès. The illustrator Nigel Peake, has chosen his own diversions, raising his pencil to hatch this original pattern on a phantom pleated knit skirt or a long coat in taffeta stripes painted with a camouflage which is just the opposite. But there is also a strong control resting on these pillars, these high-waisted men’s pants encrusted with silk moiré ribbons with metal hardware.
There is vulnerability. The tenderness of bias cuts for apron dresses which escape into a myriad of triangular panels or which tame a long black and pond green dress in cloquée silk jacquard. Here delicate hands have worked on cut yarn shirts, dresses embroidered with fur stitches, accidents of softness.
In 1977, Kenzo Takada showed at legendary club, ‘Studio 54′. Grace Jones performed, Jerry Hall walked. For this collection we want to celebrate the euphoria of an assembly of cultures. A space filled to the brim with individuals whose style speaks volumes. Women who wear distinctiveness as an expression of freedom.
An invitation to work with the archives of renowned artist Antonio Lopez was the starting point for this collection. Antonio’s work documents an iconic time in paris, of which Kenzo was an integral part. It felt relevant and exciting to pay homage to that, and re-interpret it for the Kenzo woman today. A woman like donna jordan or pat cleveland, both strong, beautiful and unparalleled. Grid-like photo formations, collages and sketches of polaroids once loaned but never returned. These images are transposed onto varying garments, offering a new lease of life to such beautiful imagery.
Ponchos, parkas and military raincoats are reimagined as light, voluminous dresses and blouses, in technical taffetas with metal snaps or drawstrings. Shiny fabrics – nylons, sequins, lamés are juxtaposed against cotton drills, raw denims or military cottons. Broken camouflage exists alongside classic motifs. Soft pinks are played against bright reds or cherry. Pink and blue lamés wax lyrical to disco anthems. Trousers and skirts are high waisted and with volume. Shoulders are softly rounded.
Accessories are worn as jewelry. Clutches become cross body’s through adjustable straps. Glittered and chainmail bags come as shoppers, harnesses or bum bags. Chainmail bandanas accentuate the neckline. Oversized crystal and sequined earrings reflect the light. Stiletto sandals walk with coiled heels.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon