Peaks as far as the eye can see, a street and snow-topped chalets. The Grand Palais is transformed into a peaceful mountain village to welcome the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2019/20 Ready-to-Wear collection. A metamorphosis imagined by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard, in the atmosphere of a beautiful winter’s day, in the grand nave, a place so dear to the House.
Wearing brogans enhanced with a platform sole, protected beneath tweed fedoras, the elegant mountain dwellers seize the spirit of romantic dandies as they walk through the powdery snow. Created by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard, the silhouettes of the collection are warmed by a wardrobe marked with masculine/feminine accents, a major stamp of the CHANEL style. A palette of winter white, beige, black and navy blue is punctuated with flashes of purple, fuchsia, brick and emerald green.
With houndstooth, tartan and big check motifs, a dusting of snowflakes, in chevrons or imitating astrakhan, top stitched and quilted, tweed displays its masculinity on suits with wide-cut trousers worn high at the waist, coupled with great overcoats. Fastened with a high collar or a shawl collar and mini cape, enhanced with a trompe-l’œil bolero or a faux fur lapel, sometimes embellished with martingales, straight or double-breasted, trapeze or belted, maxi pockets slit or buttoned and folded down, the coats are different every time.
The tweed jackets are trimmed with a thick wool braid, woven or left almost raw. The big soft knit pullovers alternate with sweaters embroidered with crystals and cardigans with mountain motifs. Ski outfits are mixed with urban wear: a down jacket is sported with wide-cut trousers in big check tweed, while a zip-up ski-suit comes in tri-colour tweed. Braided or adorned with a patch pocket to slip in a ski-pass, little tweed jackets are combined with a pencil skirt, and an outfit of over-jacket and wide-cut trousers in leather.
Knitted scarves in embroidered chiffon worn against bare skin, big blouses with jabots, sautoir necklaces of chains and glass beads, plastron necklaces and white pearl earrings – there’s a great softness about the collection. The desire for sophisticated comfort emanates from the silhouettes. A very feminine delicacy escapes from these maxi enveloping volumes. It flows over second skin tops, skirts and dresses in white chiffon printed with mini skiers and CC chairlifts, with scalloped collars and flounces that float to the rhythm of the body’s movements.
Romanticism abounds with the great capes in wool, the dresses with Claudine collars and tiers of rounded panels, the skirts in snowy guipure lace and the white tuxedos in duchess satin. Finally, the “snow-ball” skirts and dresses in chiffon and feathers with the bust embroidered with snowflakes in white and gold vinyl, distil the modernity, youth and dash of humour that characterise the CHANEL woman.
The bags match the tones of a season in the mountains: in black or white smooth quilted leather, supple in quilted tweed with a double C clasp interlaced with leather, a flap in faux fur or a camera case in braided shearling. Removable purses are attached to small bags with shoulder straps. Hip bags in faux fur or leather embroidered with glossy camellias alternate with gondola lift minaudières in rhinestoned resin.
Eternal and constantly renewed, identifiable and yet different every time, the allure of CHANEL illuminates winter with its daring and dazzling freshness.
Featured Image by Olivier Saillant