CHANEL Couture show pays tribute to the house artisans

Haute couture has come to epitomize the pinnacle of glamour, to the extent that it can be easy to forget that the mythical creations seen on the world’s red carpets once begun life as something as ordinary as a piece of fabric in the hands of a talented tailor. Tuesday’s Chanel show served as a humble reminder.

The clothes themselves were defined by sleek, pure silhouettes, with the structured and graphic collection featuring beveled or angular-cut shoulders held in place with stitches create an upright effect. Three-quarter length sleeves and 7/8 turn-ups on culottes and wide-cut trousers kept things jauntily androgynous, while tweed jackets with protruding pockets on the hips languidly highlighted the waist and crafted sensual, hourglass figures. Evening looks were inspired by the work of English illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, featuring dresses adorned with feathers at the shoulders and hemlines, while high waists were punctuated with protruding pockets to smooth the silhouettes.

There were dresses that flared out over soft cages, crafted from taffetas, chiffons, crêpe georgette, organza and silk tulles, resulting in a voluptuously elegant aesthetic. In typical Chanel fashion the devil was in the details, and the collection excelled itself with intricate stitching spun with fringed spirals and braids plaited with tulle and tweed. The embroidery of stones, matte sequins, beads and feathers was combined and multiplied endlessly to create enchanting flowers, while jewelry found a new purpose as precious cuffs.

Lagerfeld’s bride, the showpiece of every Chanel couture show, was a modern vision in a jacket and train embroidered with feathers, and a bustier and trousers fashioned from lace, tulle and satin encrusted with strands of pink and white wool.