Read my article for Fashion to Max by clicking here!
What could be more Parisian than French brasseries which concept exploded at the end of the XIXth beginning of the XXth century, a time that Mademoiselle knew well as she was born in the 1880s. We can easily imagine the chic avant-garde artistic elite which she was part of having some good time in these now legendary brasseries Lipp or La Coupole. The design inside was very much inspired by the current fashion of that time, Art Nouveau in the furnitures as well as in the overall setting. And Karl is playing with these codes, dressing up his models in the way waiters do, tying their napkin around the waist though here the napkin-skirt is beautifully printed with geometrical mosaics we usually find in bistros.
Karl is once again writing a new modern novel. It’s not what we could have expected. No Maupassant kind of glamorous women, wearing those flashy dresses on their way to the opera… No, this morning was much more about who the 2015 Chanel heiress is. Well, she’s exactly as Coco. Strong in behavior, affirming her personality through an androgynous silhouette, sometimes very feminine, sometimes borrowed from a menswear vocabulary. She’s the same Coco. Same codes, black and white, tweed suit, two-tone shoes, pearls… So what changed? I am tempted to say, nothing, and this is why the Maison Chanel is still a leader. Karl knew how to regenerate while keeping the magic, how to dress nowadays women according to a behavior, a fashion which lived long ago from now. But of course the silhouette in itself had to evolve, to adapt itself to its time.
The collection is all based on this boyish attitude Mademoiselle had in her young years. Adding bombers which are thoughtfully sculpted out of parka, napkin-skirts (so couture!), and simple muslin black evening dresses which I truly loved for their foaming aspect. So light, so comfortable, so chic, so Parisian. In these times of great insecurity, I dare say that these shell bomber jackets are real protections.
Another trend that Chanel show launched is this Scottish stripes pattern which is an obvious referrer to the traditional tablecloth we usually have in bistros and for winter its a perfect combination with oversized coats or ponchos. Flare pants are also terrific, look 62 made me think of this old campaign in the 1980s with Inès de la Fressange. The interpretation of waiters’ uniform all in black and white with lavallière collars, fluffy white skirts worn under black leggings with this black bow was simply irresistible. Graphic lines, structured silhouettes, twisted simplicity… A real recipe for success.
Caroline de Maigret once said in her book (How to be Parisian) that a Parisian girl is never worrying about her style but is naturally elegant. Well it seems that Karl is taking over a new style path, simplifying to the maximum his ready-to-wear garments and leaving embroideries and precise handwork to Haute Couture collections. In one word, this collection traces back to the origins, to the very essence of Chanel and to what builds its myth.