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Chanel’s ready-to-wear has never seemed more ready as it has for its fall/winter 2016-17—and for its show in Paris this week, everyone got a front row view. “People complain that they can’t see the clothes because they’re too far away; this season, everybody is front row,” said designer Karl Lagerfeld. By fusing together reminiscences of 31 rue Cambon—once home to Gabrielle Chanel’s presentations—where clean designs of ivory columns, mirrors, and a naturally looking green trimmed skylight, this collection stood out against its set to embody all of the charming characteristics that Chanel is known for.
The sophistication of the collection celebrated longer cuts, and was accentuated with surprising, contemporary flares. To highlight, there were a few new, impressive looks: loosely-tied, one-knot sweater scarves; layers of pearls; helmet, boater, and riding hats of tweed, leather, and felt, decorated with byzantine crosses, pearls, or camellias; wool reefer jackets typically found in menswear; red, fuchsia, and grey pink tweeds, featuring gold, silver, and bronze lamé lining only seen through side-zip panels; mature zigzag and floral prints; and a variety of classic Chanel jackets, reimagined and reworked in a multitude of ways. We saw the jacket shortened and worn with a bustier, as a cropped bolero with jersey sleeves and a hood, and a woven denim and tweed version, donning a breast pocket transformed into a smartphone holder.
The focus on outgoing outerwear brought more coats, and therefore, many more details. A long trench, like the gabardine trench, was seen taking new oversized shape as a duster jacket, and tweed dress coats either fastened with a belt or zipped closed from the top to the bottom. Eveningwear brought gowns of chiffon and tulle, with some even donned with patent leather lacing, back bows, flat pleats, jeweled plastrons, and beaded straps. We saw chenille velvet embroidery on silk, and an array of gold beads, mini chains, emoticon jewelry, and coat-hanger handbags as models walked in heeled loafers or horizontally-laced boots.
But our favorite? The new compilation print of emojis—thumbs up, peace sign, four-leaf clover, flower, and cat emoticons—that were mixed among the iconic Chanel logo, and seen on a shoulder bag, and a blouse.