Chanel presents the first collection after the passing of Karl Lagerfeld.
On July 2 Paris’s Grand Palais turned into a multi-storey library to host Chanel Couture Fall 2019. For her debut Virginie Viard turned to the house’s history. Both the founder Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld who worked for the house for many years used to be bibliophiles and took a great deal of inspiration from their book collections.
It is no wonder the collection turned out elegant and classical with its tweed suits with historical elements, long overcoats, sailor’s collars, shoes with contrasting toe caps, and a plethora of details that have never gone out of fashion. The catwalk was dominated by casual wear: from an indigo silk gown to long tweed dresses combined with loafers and low heel shoes. Models were wearing a simple make-up with neat ponytails to underline the casual nature of the showcased styles. Thin-rimmed glasses became the main accessory of the collection while the trendy mono-earrings that have moved from one collection to another were interpreted in Chanel’s style: models were wearing pairs made with pearls and feathers of different texture in one ear. The few long formal dresses made of velvet, silk, and chiffon were mainly maxi-sized. Viard moved from Lagerfeld’s strict geometry and added bomber jackets with large shoulders to wide trousers and mini dresses.
For over thirty years Virginie Viard worked under Karl Lagerfeld’s guidance as a coordinator at Chloé and later on at Chanel. Throughout the years she brought together Paris’s best craftspeople: embroiders, manufacturers of buttons, strips, and feathers, and made her debut alongside the team. The meaning of details of Chanel’s new collection cannot be overemphasized. Many tweed-like dresses turned out to be made of textile with intricate allover embroidery. While upper parts of dresses and even trousers were decorated with paillette flowers. The true gems of the collection were the see-through t-shirt with poetry printed on it and two jackets made of feathers tied together to form rosebud shapes.
Written by Polina Vorobyova
Translated by Tony Savosin