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Le Corbusier, Flip Flops, and Sublimity at Chanel Haute Couture

Sarah Bochicchio

10 July 2014

After a whirlwind tour of supermarkets, Dubai, and Texas, Karl Lagerfeld found his way back to Paris for the presentation of his Chanel fall/winter 2014–15 haute couture collection. Set in the Grand Palais, the collection staged a meeting between Le Corbusier, pioneer of modern architecture, and the glistening, though outmoded, palace of Versailles.

As is the Lagerfeld way, Chanel Haute Couture reinterpreted the historical and the histrionic for a clean, modern, and staggeringly innovative collection. The cream, charcoal, ice blue, and fiery red ensembles might even appear stark if not for their ornate gold embellishments and intricate fabrics.

Courtesy of Chanel

Classic Chanel tweeds, tulle, and chiffon were combined with concrete, a tribute to Le Corbusier’s ardor for the material. Thanks to a technique that took three years to perfect, concrete was—for the first time—perforated, embroidered, and trimmed with pearl and crystal.

As per the spring/summer 2014 haute couture collection, corsets reappeared, this time matched with voluminous, round skirts, for a seamless, visionary silhouette. Other gowns took on tulle-covered feathers and empire waists, a streamlined ode to 18th-century France.

Loewe

Loewe fall/winter 2017

Mindful of his recent track record of unconventional footwear, Lagerfeld’s quiffed models sported almost exclusively des tongs très chic (very chic flip flops). The sandals relaxed the sophisticated, flawlessly constructed clothing, thus grounding a collection that reached sublime heights.

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