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Chanel Haute Couture A/W11

Karl Lagerfeld showed coloured hemlines and collars on suits and cocktail dresses in a Grand Palais covered in glitter

At the Chanel Haute Couture show, held at the Grand Palais, the atmosphere felt like a mix of a 1950s gala and Tron: walls and floors covered in silver glitter, and the recreation of Place Vendôme in neon outlines, complete with an electrical Coco perched on top of a central, giant tower. The show was to the level of its settings: sparkly and surprising. Each model wore a boater hat, midway between Zorro and Mary Poppins. The collection kicked off with classical skirt suits in navy, grey, white – and plenty of glitter. Some waists were fitted and flared out at the hips, others were straight and boy-like.

There was a game of coloured hemlines and collars going on: sometimes fuchsia, sometimes white, colourful necklines and cuffs came poking out to brighten up an otherwise somber outfit. Coco classical knot worn round the neck also made a few appearances. The collection soon evolved into dresses: some for cocktails, backless and floor length, with a loose back; others meant for daytime activities, midcalf, worn with sheer riding boots with a slight heel; and some with a flare, worn with a suit jacket. All in all, this felt like watching a day in a girl’s life, in the early 20th century. Lavish but never trashy, decadent yet controlled, Karl delivered a classic Chanel.