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Spring 2018 Couture


BY William Buckley

January 23, 2018

The French words treillage and berceau are not rendered adequately enough in English to describe the structure at Chanel’s Spring 2018 couture show. Today’s runway featured a full-throttle replica of the trellis gallery in the Bosquet de l’Encelade at the Palace of Versailles, a circular tunnel of treillage punctuated by four pavilions and rose bushes climbing everywhere. But this wasn’t a garden. This was the Grand Palais. Indoors. And the rose bushes—mature rose bushes—were climbing out from the floor like they’d been planted there years ago in prescient anticipation of 2018 and Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring whim. They hadn’t though. Because the Eiffel Tower last season, and the rocket the season before. But how the house managed to build this replica, grow roses all over it, make them bloom just in time, in winter, and transport the whole thing, roots and all, into the Grand Palais is anyone’s guess. Magic? I think probably magic. If there are any sorcerers among us fashion folk, Lagerfeld is one—he and Maleficent sharing thorny spells. Imagine. 

And while a fountain in the center sprung upwards, the collection walked around—bouclé to begin, and a sumptuous A-line dress with big flap pockets and oversized shoulders set the tone—adorable but with just enough edge. Some of the dresses were too saccharine for cynical Americans, but Harajuku will be awash with them. Tulle eveningwear was next, followed by a KiraKira fan’s fantasy—a jumpsuit covered in silver paillettes and pearls. Marabou got in on the action too, in black at a jacket’s hem, or all over baby pink skirts. Then came Hudson Kroenig dressed all in white—a white ruffled collar shirt and white distressed jeans carrying a basket of pink and yellow roses, discarding them every now and again as he walked, then followed by the collection’s pièce de résistance—a bridal look with a white tuxedo-collared vest (with pearl buttons, natch), white slim cut pants, white leather shoes, and white feathers everywhere—on the shoulders, and wrapped around the waist like a ball gown. The look elicited unscheduled applause, and Lagerfeld appeared, new white bushy beard and all, to bow. 

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