A ray of sunlight pierces the Parisian skies on a cloudy January 26th, and illuminates the dome of the Grand Palais. Like a reminder of spring in the middle of winter, it signals the start of Karl Lagerfeld’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016 collection show. In an exaltingly bucolic set, a wooden house with closed shutters blends in with the vegetation. The door opens to reveal the first silhouettes. One by one, seeming to slow their pace to better take advantage of the moment, the models wander through this Eden.
To celebrate this rite of spring – a nod to Stravinsky’s work, beloved by Gabrielle Chanel – aerial materials mingle with wooden embroideries. Soft colours, chosen amid beige palettes, are accompanied by gold ornaments. The variations in volume and inverted forms bring to mind the eccentricities of nature – as in these short oval-sleeved jackets whose generous curves contrast with the finesse of pencil skirts. A smartphone cover accessorizes each outfit. A subtle detail to assert that this sweet, timeless collection is also furiously modern. The models pace the catwalk, laid out in wood tiles on the grass, in cork-soled platform pumps. The delicate, poetic silhouette designed by Karl Lagerfeld is completed by an imperial bun and a dab of eyeliner reminiscent of ancient idols.
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Bees appear on tulle and muslin, as well as on the jewels. The fabric insects seem to buzz around the long dresses and printed flowers. "I am a bee, that is part of my sign, the Lion, the Sun. Women of this sign are hard-working, courageous, faithful, undaunted. That is my character. I am a bee born under the sign of the Lion", in the words of Coco, queen of the rue Cambon. The bride appears, clad in a dress where natural materials are in marvelous harmony, and the hood of which arouses the curiosity of the audience.
The wooden shutters open slowly on the models for the finale, choreographed by Karl Lagerfeld. The music stops, the applause rises from the stalls, and cries of joy ring out from the backstage. Rays of sunlight now stream onto the set, bringing radiance to the blue of the sky and the green of the lawn where the models walked. The smell of freshly cut grass fills the Grand Palais.
'Sister Act' - Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner at CHANEL Spring/Summer 2016 Haute Couture presentation last week, here with these new haute couture pouches. Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring‑Summer 2016 collection features belts and mobile phone pouches which are as sophisticated as the outfits that they accompany. "This is our new bag (…), identical to those used by 15th century ladies of the manor to carry their keys; any other accessory would be too much”, he quips.
Variations on Beige by CHANEL Spring 2016 Haute Couture - "Gabrielle Chanel was the Queen of beige”, explains Karl Lagerfeld. Ranging from off-white to ochre, very light brown and shades of raw wool, linen and cotton, beige is one of the most versatile neutral tones. It offers a perfect balance between the warmth of brown and the freshness of white. With hints of ecru, ivory, sand, dove, putty, taupe and mocha, the Artistic director presents the many faces of one of Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite shades, featuring floaty dresses, blouses and muslin fabrics, floral embroidery, jackets and skirts.
“I go back to beige because it’s natural", she used to say. A real fascination for nature was reflected in her interiors where beige was the chosen color for furniture and carpets, which reminded her of “earth floors”. She used it in her collections, applying it to her jersey pyjamas, her tweed suits and her shoes. She also combined it with the elegance of black and white to create a stylish statement women adopted unanimously and which Karl Lagerfeld went on to enrich with his own talent.
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Photo Credit/Source: The House of CHANEL via Instagram
& ANDREA JANKE via Instagram @andreajankeofficial
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The pièce de la résistance was in green velvet brocade, worn by the redheaded model Irina Kravchenko it had a train, and a sheer bodice on which the pattern of the brocade had been cut out and reappliquéd. It was one of those completely stunning dresses that will lodge in the memory of haute couture highs.