Fans, friends of the house and press might miss the usual presence of Karl Lagerfeld at the end of the show at the Chanel SS19 Haute Couture presentation, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that the monumental beauty of the clothes and their exquisite details make up for it.
This season, the Grand Palais is transformed into the vast Mediterranean garden of a beautiful, big house. A pool of water is surrounded by trees and Southern plant species in a harmony of neat lines. Pathways are almost “à la française”, like 18th century gardens — undoubtedly Lagerfeld’s favourite period thanks to the savoir-faire of the artisans of French luxury. He plucks the flowers out of the garden, and put them into this collection: embroidered, painted, in lace, in feathers, in resin and also in ceramic, they appear even as hair jewels. This floral explosion bursts in the colour of pastel pink, prairie green and sky blue, and in games of black, white, beige, navy blue, iridescent gold and silver.
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Being an haute couture collection, the craftsmanship that goes into each and every piece is impeccable. The silhouette, be it the long and slender or flowing with voluminous bell and corolla shapes, are adorned with braid that melts into the fabric: embroidered into the tweed, the lamé wool or the grain de poudre, it further amplifies the pure line of what Karl Lagerfeld is calling “the new Chanel”.
The ateliers reveal here the treasures resulting from such patience and savoir-faire: on these dresses, every horizontal blind tuck is completed by hand, taking up to 350 hours of work. On one organza dress embroidered with flowers made from feathers, the organ pleats that animate the ruffles are gathered thread by thread. The smocked lozenges of a silk blouse are sewn by hand and held in place by 650 beads. A black leather dress cut in spirals is aerated by ladder lace. An entirely sequinned white suit embroidered with patterns inspired by the porcelain of the Manufacture de Vincennes is a veritable work of art. An organza dress with a bolero effect is embroidered with real flowers immortalised in resin. Finally, a long green sequinned dress is embroidered with hand-painted ceramic flowers.
Learn more about Chanel’s Haute Couture collection at www.chanel.com.