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Prestige (Singapore) - - FASHION -

“I thought that was a mod­ern idea to make them par­tic­i­pate. They should be shown too,” Karl Lager­feld shared of Chanel’s haute cou­ture pre­sen­ta­tion. By “they”, he was re­fer­ring to the 120-strong tai­lor­ing and dress­mak­ing ate­lier teams at Rue Cam­bon.

To set the stage for one of the sea­son’s most im­pres­sive col­lec­tions, Lager­feld had the en­tire staff trans­ported to the Grand Palais, along with their dum­mies, sewing ma­chines, cut­ting ta­bles, mir­rors, fabric swatches, em­broi­dery ma­te­ri­als, can­vas toiles, and other tools. Here, as all 71 looks were un­veiled to the au­di­ence, they would carry on work­ing.

Chanel’s dis­tinc­tive sleek sil­hou­ette was given a lift with strong graphic shoul­ders, as jack­ets with three-quar­ter sleeves were worn over wide-cut trousers. Tweed, Chanel’s other sig­na­ture, was up­dated in a spec­trum of scrump­tious colour­ways, sev­eral drip­ping with el­e­gant em­broi­dery or bead­ing.

Lager­feld drew on English il­lus­tra­tor Aubrey Beard­s­ley’s art nou­veau il­lus­tra­tions for the af­ter­hour of­fer­ings. As de­tails in­creased in den­sity, feath­ers spring from the shoul­ders and hems of dresses, pock­ets pro­trude at the hips, and black bows sprout from a feath­ered dress, among oth­ers. To set off these, fab­rics were de­lib­er­ately light with faille, mikado, chif­fon, or­ganza, silk tulle, and crepe ge­or­gette. Who could have re­sisted such a mag­i­cal, mar­vel­lous and imag­i­na­tive ex­pe­ri­ence?

And as Lager­feld took his fi­nal bow with the four Chanel pre­mieres — heads of the two tailleur (tai­lor­ing) ate­liers and two flou (dress­mak­ing) ate­liers — it re­minded the au­di­ence once again why haute cou­ture re­mains cher­ished by ev­ery­one who loves fash­ion.

The Grand Palais was also where Chanel staged pre­sen­ta­tions like Au­tumn/win­ter 2015 haute cou­ture, dur­ing which it was trans­formed into a Parisian café. It was dressed up like an air­port ter­mi­nal for the la­bel’s Spring/sum­mer 2016 ready-to-wear show. fan­tas­ti­cal doll-like makeup by Tom Pecheux, who not only smudged dark liner un­der the eyes but also ap­plied tri­an­gle false lashes on the top lash lines.

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