January 27, 2014

sporty pastels at chanel haute couture

A few hours before Chanel showed for the Spring 2014 Haute Couture season, I was dreaming about the elaborate gowns and intricate designs that were about to walk on the Grand Palais runway, wondering what Karl Lagerfeld would concoct up for this season. But to my utter surprise, the collection was entirely not what I expected, instead it was the complete opposite. For Spring 2014, Karl Lagerfeld decided to do away with the full-length gowns of the past seasons, and instead create a collection that was light, full of movement and most importantly, youthful. Taking place in what he likes to call "an ice palace, a nightclub on another planet" version of the Grand Palais, the youthfulness was seen in the very beginning : when Cara Delevingne opened the show by skipping {yes, she literally skipped} down the revolving couture stairs à la 1930's Hollywood where every step was a pose, a fresh breath of air from the usual serious atmosphere of fashion shows.
Sportswear was an evident element of the show, and this was perhaps due to the fact that Mademoiselle Chanel herself was the first to marry sports with fashion at the height of her career. Iridescent knee, elbow and arm pads with the interlocking Cs along with equally shimmery fanny packs{waist pouches}were introduced as luxury accessories, but my favourite {also the most buzzed about accessory of the show} were the sneakers, or more officially named couture trainers. I swear, these are the most dreamy shoes I have ever laid my eyes on! Couture shoes are often lamented for their impracticality, but these trainers are the perfect combination of practicality with luxury : being made from the finest python and boucle wool, trimmed with Chanel signatures of pearls, tweed and lace, and in the most delightful shades of pale pink, shimmery silver,white and black.If they weren't close to 3000 euros per pair {and unavailable unless you buy the entire couture look}, I would have owned one of these the second they were available {preferably in pale pink}.
Then of course, there is the couture. In the spirit of youth, silhouettes were mostly kept lean and athletic, and the constant use of iridescent fabrics as well as silver hinted at the futuristic theme the collection shared with the atmosphere. Waistlines were emphasised both in the dresses and suits with the introduction of corsets, cinching the waist and drawing attention to the shoulders with the use of bolero tops/jackets, effectively creating the hourglass figure. 
With the A-line skirts kept short just above the knee, the look was transformed from womanly to flirty and fun. Long boxy suits were paired with tailored cropped trousers, while fluid column-shaped and bias cut evening gowns shimmered and shone on the runway. 
Hand-made with airy fabrics {chiffon, tulle, lace, tweed and organza}, bedecked with sequins, feathers and tiny jewels, and set in glittery blue, cotton candy pink and silver hues, these gowns were truly fit for a princess.

Like every Chanel show, the closing was nothing short of breathtaking and for this season, it was even fun. Lindsey Wixson finished the second-last look with a few playful pirouettes while clutching the train of her dress, while Cara Delevingne closed the show donning an ethereal bridal gown, walking down the soft white runway with a young boy {Lagerfeld's godson Hudson Kroenig} holding up her train and Karl Lagerfeld walking at her side. The collection although with the casual influence of sport, has been nothing short of magical with it's main theme of iridiscence and opalescent as seen from the glittering makeup {jewels on the models' lower eyelid} and the exquisite couture. At the same time, it has maintained its youthfulness and modernity through freedom lightness and freshness in the clothes, while being luxurious in the high-quality fabrics and elegant silhouettes.

What do you think of this collection? Love it or hate it?

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