Leave it to CHANEL to take a couture show and find a new way to bring it to life. Namely, an untraditional runway pose that evokes editorial glamour and the effortless vibe of street style snaps to bring the beauty of Parisian sidewalks to life. The show was inspired by the atelier’s home base, and designer Karl Lagerfeld’s experience living in the city of romance. He moved to Paris at 18, and his love affair with the French capital has proved to endure the test of time.

In the house’s signature fashion, the collection featured tweeds and chiffons that hinted at Parisian nuances. Smoldering stone grays were lit up by sparkling embroideries reminiscent of the lights along the Seine. Decorating the runway was a consistent style of playfully unzipped skirts revealing miniskirts beneath, crafted with the same attention to detail and embellished with embroidery so the cheeky slit is actually a seamless transition from front to back. The iconic brand used innovative fabrics, such as the silver foil signature and marathon runners, transformed into a high fashion ball gown.

Look after look was masterfully curated from head to toe. Hairstylist Sam McKnight coiffed the models’ locks into a rocker-style ‘do without a strand out of place. The looks were completed with ankle boots, each one detailed to match the outfit they accompanied. This collection once again proves that no one can make clothes quite like CHANEL.

The breathtaking bride that closed the show was Adut Akech, wearing an unconventional choice of wedding gown. Nevertheless, as the final walk around the streets of the CHANEL set took place, sunlight streamed through the Grand Palais, and the embroidered details of the pastel masterpiece danced as each sparkle hit a ray. That kind of magic doesn’t exist with conventional white taffeta.

The reason that CHANEL is widely respected is that they are committed to their brand.  They aren’t struggling to define their aesthetic or make gowns for the Hollywood masses. Each season, Lagerfeld sends out his girls in exquisitely tailored pieces that are draped nonchalantly over their shoulders as they navigate their way through elaborate stages of sets that take weeks (maybe months) to build.

This season’s collection was livable, striking, elegant, modern, and effortless. CHANEL has mastered having a trademark style without becoming predictable, and certainly without losing the magic and artistry of haute couture. If there’s ever a standard of couture perfection, this Parisian-inspired show just set it – and the bar is high. It was a brilliant homage to the romantic city, and we certainly fell in love.

Photos from Vogue Runway.
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Jane Bradshaw

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