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The Grand Palais was transformed into an ancient ruin for Chanel’s haute couture show. As opera music resounded through the seemingly derelict theater, hesitant editors hovered over their dusty chairs, surrounded by broken windows and rubble. Then the ragged curtains opened, and a silver futuristic city from the Far East was revealed.
Old world meets the new was the running theme of the show, and for this season Karl Lagerfeld paired the fashion house’s historic couture craftsmanship and dressmaking skills with modern textiling, bringing old technology into the 21st century. The necklines and silhouettes were, at times, of another century, with dresses, tunics, and jackets worn together in a monochromatic palette, broken up by hints of blue, beige, and pink.
Tightly woven tweeds that upon closer look were embroidered with ribbons, wools, sequins, and chiffon were the toast of the collection. They came in the form of slim jackets and short skirts, layered over longer underskirts and thigh-high suede boots. Texture was a strong element throughout, and among the tweeds were tiny glittering squares and patterns stitched on to sleeves and mini-skirts.
For a couture collection, the full-length gowns were sparse – not that it mattered. The eveningwear came in light, crumpled silks, set against gauze and shimmering panels of tiles, that looked to a more modern way of approaching couture. With low block heels and slouchy belts adding a fresher feel, it’s clear Lagerfeld never misses a beat.