It is one of the strongest years yet for couture, appropriately in response to the troubled global political climate. Couture, after all, works best when it lifts up and envelops the watcher with a rarefied mood or a vision, rather than being deliberately referential.
The Chanel Couture SS2017 collection was a glittery tribute to Chanel without any of the bells and whistles that have accompanied Karl Lagerfeld’s previous couture collections. It was a deliberately simple and clean collection, with an array of tasteful and high wearable confections that could easily jump straight from the runway to the red carpet or, dare we say, the White House.
The mirrored runway itself was a beautiful interpretation of the celebrated mirrored staircase in Coco Chanel’s original atelier and provided the perfect backdrop to the collection without overwhelming.
The first looks of the collection brought back a variety of takes on the classic Chanel suit in a rainbow of colors, complete with wide contrasting belts, a pronounced shoulder (a nod to the ‘80s trend, likely) and smart tailoring throughout.
At the entrance of one glittered white and beige suit, the collection transitioned into evening, resplendent with princess sparkle, elongated silhouettes, and crinoline skirts.
The silver sparkle was a feat of delicate embroidery, differentiated from piece to piece as the collection moved along. Fluffs of feathers (with which Lagerfeld is reportedly obsessed) adorned sleeves and hems of dresses reminiscent of Greta Garbo and all that 1930s glamour.
The strongest look of the collection was a diaphanous grey chiffon crinoline with a profusion of wispy feathers and a dramatically plunging neckline that would no doubt have made even Cinderella herself audibly gasp.
by Jessica Quillin