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If you know anything about Chanel, you know about their seasonal runway extravaganzas at the Grand Palais. The over-the-top transformation for fall/winter 2015 ready-to-wear did not disappoint, transforming the Paris landmark into “Brasserie Gabrielle.”
“This is a proposition for every woman. All kinds of propositions, proportions, for day, for the evening. The parka is embroidered as an evening coat. The bomber jacket explodes with the front of the Chanel jacket—the iconic Chanel jacket. But the only thing that goes with everything is the same shoe,” said designer Karl Lagerfeld. “It gives a kind of unity and spirit and Parisian touch to the collection.”
Utilizing the Grand Palais’ extensive space, Chanel created an intricate quaint French café set. Donned with wood and gold furnishings, brasserie booths were delicately dressed and furnished. Separated by a few low, round tables and chairs, a wrap-around oval-shaped bar featuring bustling wait staff and large floral arrangements appeared on the other end. Vintage light posts were seemingly pulled off of the streets of Paris. Triangular, roadrunner tiled patterns went back and forth in an array of white, ember, light brown, and burnt orange colors to complement the set’s colors. Lining the runway were freestanding white-clothed tables, making for a very unique front row. Bar tops and stools held the press pit, designated for most photographers.
The show opened with models entering through turnstile doors, pushing forward with staunch stares, but reserving enough femininity for both their wispy and slicked up-dos, and for their sensual smoky eyes. To the beat of a fast-paced menacing tune, models circled the set, intermingled, placed orders at the bar, and sat at the booths.
It’s a difficult task to decide what the color scheme was, or which fabrics were most seen, because the show, lasting eighteen minutes and eleven seconds, was overflowing with patterns and themes, fabrics and frill, masculinity and femininity, and enough looks to fill numerous wardrobes back to back to back. But we’ll try…
Wool and thick knit was found in bold, bulky looks and feminine accessories—silver statement necklaces, multiple long strands of gathered freshwater pearls (even seen on the men), and gold bracelet cuffs. Backpacks, belts, purses, clutches, pins, broaches, and scarves were seen paired with almost all looks, and patterns and prints casually matched. All models walked in a rounded-point black and nude sling-back kitten heel. “It’s become the most modern of shoes and makes beautiful legs,” said Karl Lagerfeld.
Large drop-waist pockets and thick collars with dazzling broaches were seen on the majority of dresses. Oversized petal collars and rolled sleeves were seen on double-button jackets, and long trench coats with parted envelope collars appeared thereafter. Delicately pleated, matching skirts flowed beside matching purses held down below. Flannel embellished with large gems and jewels is seen in a variety of apparel. Sleek plastic-looking jackets and skirts matched in symmetrical square and triangular patterns.
One of our favorite looks, a shimmering light and dark blue floral jacquard dress (that also appears in a pencil skirt) is long-sleeved, cropped-at-the-ankle, and accessorized with a vest of black pearls wrapping around the underarms and as a razorback. Another favorite: a below-the-knee, light- and dark-grey ostrich feather skirt in rows separated by crystal embellishment. The same material is seen on sleeves and the bottom of a car-door coat.
And last but not least—while this is seen as the opening of the show, but reserved for our “save the best for last” bit—are the Chanel classics with a modern spin. Arguably the most iconic of them all, the button-up tweed boucle jacket with the eyelash trim, took on a futuristic feel, with some of them featuring oversized bubbled triangular prisms as sleeves (which we saw a similar iteration of in London with Mary Katrantzou). The ultra-femme tuxedo was created with a reserved white center, elongated by an overly frilly skirt and decadent sequined blazer. Chanel belts with the signature dangle are oversized, with the largest gold plates yet.
The show ended with scattered models, sitting in booths, on bar stools, and next to the low-rise tables, as Lagerfeld walked out smiling. Rest assured, Chanel’s fall/winter 2015 collection is set to stun the streets, the workplace, and easily, unarguably, the world.