Chanel: Haute Couture is Paris
The thoughts of Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director of the Maison, sum up the principal vocation of Chanel from the time when Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel opened her first fashion house in 1915. Haute Couture gives free rein to any idea, without limits, together with a creativity that goes hand in hand with the highest standards. The essence of the Autumn Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture Collection by Chanel captures the vision of the designer and with unique skill is embodied in the perfection of the cut, the details and the savoir-faire of the maison, which brings its experience to every look with precision of line, form and structure to achieve unique creations. The skill of the head tailors and their teams of experts is evident: in their talented hands, the detailed sketches of Karl Lagerfeld come to life, celebrating the virtuosity of extraordinary craftsmen: from creations in tweed, much loved by Gabrielle Chanel, laces and silk, to designs that use feathers, flowers and embroidery, and accessories such as hats, gloves and jewels. Chanel’s Maison Métiers d'art combines the standards and excellence without compromise of several ateliers with exceptional knowhow, including Lemarié, the flower and feather specialist; Massaro, the shoemaker; Maison Lesage and Montex, embroiderers; Maison Michel, the milliner; Causse, the glove-maker, and Lognon, the specialist plisseur. Karl Lagerfeld, who is very attached to the French capital, with his new collection pays homage to literary Paris, the Paris of book lovers and the Académie Française; during fashion week he transformed the Grand Palais into a long River Seine flanked by book sellers with their typical green stalls. In this magical, extremely romantic and captivating timeless set, Chanel’s Parisiennes wore ankle boots with fold-over cuffs, had hair styles with Rockabilly quiffs at the front, flowing pony tails behind, and intense eye make-up illuminated by delicate glitter that reflected light and charm. The collection expresses the best of a Paris Autumn
inspired by a palette of seasonal colours: the pale grey of roofs, the anthracite of street asphalt, the black of the deepest night, and the golden and silver reflections of the moon; these colours are softened by pale pink, the mauve of dawn, the white, ecru and beige of misty mornings and the green of the roofs of historic buildings. In this exalted Paris, crystal embroidery is aligned like cobbles and gold-embroidered tulle netting evokes the padlocks of the Pont des Arts: a declaration of love for a city of fashion and culture, with a rich historic heritage. Tweed, classical fabrics or plumetis, flannel, velvet, crêpe, lace, taffeta, radzimir and chiffon adorn slim silhouettes emphasised by “High Profile” zips, a distinctive and original feature of the collection. Zips that are embellished to appear like woven embroidery run along the body and transform the look of tweed outfits and evening gowns, opening the profile of skirts and jackets with narrow sleeves, at times framing them completely. Ultra-elegant zips run along jacket sleeves revealing extra-long half-gloves and contrasting linings in silk and brocade. The elegant profile of the leg is revealed through zips on long skirts and dresses made of tweed, velvet and chiffon. Dresses, with side splits, reveal embroidered mini-skirts and each look gives a glimpse of a second shorter, tone-on-tone skirt, with finishes in tweed or sequin embroidery. Reinterpreted this way the iconic dress alternates with trompe-l'oeil outfits and long overcoats. Chiffon blouses, high collars, lace tops and others with bodices embroidered with sequins, pearls and crystals further adorn the collection. For the evening bodices are richly embellished, embroidered and draped with bows, in contrast to skirts and the lower half of dresses. Lightness and delicacy, elegance and class are everywhere, in every detail: chiffon, tulle, embroidered tops, draping necklines and lace embroidery, asymmetric shapes over shoulders, long straight chiffon skirts layered with flat pleats, bustiers worn with tulle balloon skirts, tops with crystals, voluminous skirts made of white, black or grey chiffon, gilets embroidered like a sunset and boleros of night-coloured sequins that shine like the light reflected in the Seine. In every detail Karl Lagerfeld celebrates Paris as the unique capital of fashion, the arts and culture, in harmony with Chanel.