Springtime brings the prettiest of flowers. It’s to a décor composed of a bosquet surrounded by a trellis tunnel swathed in climbing roses, ivy and jasmine, with a fountain at its centre, that Karl Lagerfeld invited his guests to discover the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection.
The models crowned with floral hairpieces and tulle veils, are perched on matching booties in tweed, leather or embroidered tulle, with transparent heels. CHANEL’s woman of the season blossoms from beneath layers and layers of silk tulle, chiffon and organza pleated or enriched with botanical embroidery composed of sequins, beads, stones and strass. Feathers caress her shoulders or her ankles, extending the woven tweed and the matte satin. Within this softness, her feminity is expressed through a palette of gentle tones: tender pinks, coral, frosted lemon, mint, grey and pale taupe. Then reaffirmed in more intense colours including black, sparkling silver, ink, fuchsia chlorophyll green and electric blue.
Under the first rays of sunshine, the iconic tweed suit turns pale pink or white. Its straight or slightly trapeze cut jacket is defined with a relaxed collar, a newly revised kimono sleeve, a rounded shoulder and a faintly cambered back. Beneath the chest are two welt pockets, sometimes the braided smile pockets tempt hands to slip inside, with what Karl Lagerfeld calls “the new attitude” brimming with strength and character.
The suit skirts open to reveal block colour satin that contrasts with the softness of woven tweed in shades alternating between powdered hues, pinks, greens, oranges, golden sand and black, and shot with neon thread. The suit is also back as a trompe-l’oeil dress or coat dress, as a long tunic or A-line jacket, accompanied by skirts or French culottes. Each time embroidered braids highlight the structure and stitching of a jacket with its highly technical construction.
Lines are superimposed, combining finesse and volume, in a cascade of floral embroidery, pleats and ethereal flounces. Strapless minidresses embellished entirely in sequins are veiled in a tulle embroidered with delicate little plumetis flowers; others come with a high-necked plastron sewn with jewelled braid, or as a long sheath dress overlaid with lace silk tulle ennobled with shards of silver silicon. A cage dress embellished and swollen with curled feathers passes a long dress in duchess satin whose purity is interrupted only by a skirt abounding with tulle. Embroidered wisteria, bouquets of camellias, pansies, anemones, buttercups, and carnations blossom everywhere, while poppies are printed on the tulle of a ruffled dress and big blousy flowers in watercolour hues are painted over a long skirt that’s light and fluid.