Chanel Womenswear A/W12

We entered a crystal maze with Karl Lagerfeld at his latest collection for Chanel

Fashion Show
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As we entered the set of giant crystals growing out of the Grand Palais, it looked like we were being presented with some sort of spiritual centre for healing, where we could find our fashion-based inner chakras, as fashion month very nearly draws to a close. Certainly for many members of the audience, Chanel does provide some form of spiritual healing. Therefore when the show opened with the proposition of a three piece suit - jacket, skirt and trousers, a combination that isn’t exactly tried and tested in the Chanel camp, we knew Karl Lagerfeld sought to challenge audiences rather than rest on the Chanel laurels.

For those that don’t mind indulging in a bit of Chanel self-healing, there’ll be plenty to choose from but it’s this trouser-based silhouette that forms the real backbone to this glinting gem of a collection

Trousers came in every look, be they skinny tweed ones that hit just above the ankle or sporty ballooning legs as part of a parachute jumpsuit. They also ran the gamut from casual to ornate with the appearance of black acid wash skinnies paired with a grey wool pocketed dress, and then in the final passage of eveningwear looks, you had lattice embroidered sheer trousers under a feathered metallic foil evening dress. If Lagerfeld didn’t glean spiritual healing from these crystals, he was inspired by the appearance of their natural forms, their jagged edges informing the breast plate jewellery set with purple crystals, the crystal encrusted shoes as well as the Lesage-embroidered eyebrows (yes, they now exist). The mysterious shades of mineral rocks injected shots of colour in shades of plum, teal, mustard and electric blue in a collection that was largely black and grey. The literal facets of a crystal were suggested by the arrangements of reflective triangles of pink, purple and silver contrasted with a grey wool dress. 

The mysterious shades of mineral rocks injected shots of colour in shades of plum, teal, mustard and electric blue in a collection that was largely black and grey

Abstracted patterns on patchwork knits and triangular constructions on grey wool formed a Cubist-inspired strand of the collection. The vastness of a Chanel show and the fact that Lagerfeld knows exactly how to construct this gamut that ranges from street to ball, from day to evening and everything in between meant that the theme of crystal formation could be eked out in a multitude of ways. For those that don’t mind indulging in a bit of Chanel self-healing, there’ll be plenty to choose from, but it’s this trouser-based silhouette that forms the real backbone to this glinting gem of a collection.   

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