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Paris

Chanel

Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear

Paris

BY Katharine K. Zarrella

October 3, 2017

For a few moments on Tuesday, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld plucked us out of reality and plopped us back down beside a waterfall. Literally. True to form, Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais for his Spring 2018 show, this season building a giant cliff replete with waterfalls, a river, foliage, and a wooden bridge on which the models walked. Inspired by the Gorges du Verdon, a canyon in the South of France with waterfalls aplenty, the set was awe-inspiring. But not in that spectacle sort of way that Karl sets usually are (not that there’s anything wrong with that—rockets are a blast, get it?!). Rather, the designer relied on an embrace of serene, natural beauty to bring the magic.

Naturally, that massive water feature informed the collection in every way, from the palette, which featured every imaginable shade of blue, as well as watercolor and tie-dye-esque prints, and even ocean-hued camo that appeared on everything from silk gowns to jackets to handbags. There was tinsel, too, that evoked a glistening pond or, sure, waterfall, on a moonlight night. And the garments themselves were liquid in their movement, swishing and swirling and floating as models lapped the Grand Palais.

Elsewhere, tweed was cut in cascading fashions. Sometimes, like in the case of Kaia Gerber’s opening look, it was fringed—her tube top, jacket, and white denim and tweed skirt appeared to be dripping off her. Elsewhere, suits were cut in tiers that evoked a waterfall. This extended beyond the tweed, too—translucent fringe details that appeared to be plastic looked like liquid when it adorned the hem of a denim skirt or the collar of a jean jacket. Speaking of which, there was so much denim here. And it was really cool, luxury denim—sometimes distressed, sometimes more prim and proper. It felt fun and fresh and oh-so Chanel.

Were there accessories, you ask? Yes, obviously, this is Chanel. Bags, from the Boy style to large totes, came in an iridescent hue. Crystals were everywhere—on decadent jewelry and brooches and a globe-shaped minaudiere that will surely become one of those highly sought-after Chanel rarities that you’ll see selling for 20k in a year or so on the Real Real. And then there was the plastic.

About that plastic, there was kind of a lot of it. I mean, obviously, the Chanel woman wants to look at and like water, but she doesn’t want to get wet. I get that. And those clear plastic boots and ponchos and belts and bags and rain hats (which kept flying off models’ heads as they stepped out onto the runway, the maybe-science of which you can read about here) were super chouette, but I highly doubt they’re biodegradable. For a show that centered around one of the world’s natural wonders, it would have been nice to have seen the environment receive more consideration. Though perhaps Lagerfeld and his rocket know something we don’t.

Environmental hazards aside, this was a lovely, escapist outing from Lagerfeld. And Hudson Kroening walked—without his supermodel dad, Brad. (Actually, it’s worth noting that for the first time in recent memory, Lagerfeld didn’t have any grown men on the runway—or Insta girls, for that matter.) That Hudson is just cute as a button, and he held is own while marching in a tartan jumpsuit and a deep blue shoulder bag. And he earned that coveted finale spot, standing alongside his godfather Lagerfeld as he waved to the rows and rows of showgoers. Honestly, he kind of stole the show. Sure it might seem like this kiddo is chasing waterfalls, but with Lagerfeld in his corner, it seems pretty clear he’s caught one.

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