Following four weeks of hectic fashion schedules, the historical light-flooded Grand Palais, in the heart of Paris, can feel like a breath of fresh air as the Chanel show symbolises a culmination of the chaos. The longstanding canvas of Karl Lagerfeld’s imagination, the Palais has been host to many extravagant sets, which have formed the backdrop for collections of years gone by. Whilst Lagerfeld’s sets are eye-catching, the rest of the fashion world stage remains largely traditional; blank spaces enhanced by just lighting and music.
The SS19 show felt like a welcome extension of the long hazy summer that swept Europe in an ethereal and escapist fashion. Much to the enjoyment of the front row, guests were transported from Paris to the Riviera, complete with undulating waves and sandy toes. Water has been a strong theme across fashion weeks this season, from soaked models at Ashish to the Perspex catwalk that sat atop the Seine for L’oreal. Chanel certainly did not miss the memo. Lagerfled created a fashion oasis to rival some of his most iconic creative concepts. SS16 was showcased in a dreamlike airport setting while SS15 saw the Grand Palais transformed into a Parisian street scene where models took to the runway armed with plaques sporting messages of equality.
The soothing surrealism created within the Grand Palais set the tone perfectly for a collection which oozed tropical 80s as model’s meandered around the edge of the artificial blue lagoon. With every model walking barefoot, the show felt refreshing and not afraid to be fun. An eclectic mix of heavy fabrics and ice cream colours served to highlight the multi-dimensional nature of the iconic brand, which utilized oversized silhouettes to showcase its designs. Arguably the key piece; a pastel yellow tweed sarong. Tweed played a heavy role in creating a collection which seems fitting for the breezy spring months, with cycling shorts also featuring heavily.
In a subtle transition, the collection moves from day to night. Models wore classic black and white designs, complimented by a flirty red lip; a nod to glamorous summer nights spent in Cannes and St. Tropez. Accessories were integral and it seems that Lagerfeld is not afraid to shy away from visible branding, with the Chanel name proudly embellishing the purses and jewellery. Beading, buttons and tulle gave the collection energy and sass, contrasting mild may days with sizzling summer nights.
Whilst Chanel SS19 maintained the allure we’ve come to expect from Lagerfeld, it’s subtleties in style meant it felt positively stripped back and relaxed. The collection was one of my personal favourites, demonstrating perfectly why Chanel firmly maintains its position as a fashion powerhouse. Seamless and timeless, Lagerfeld has left me yearning for spring, sun, holidays and of course, Chanel.
By Meg Painter.
Image: Harpers Bazaar