Nestled in the Grand Palais turned into a forest, Chanel’s ready-to wear autumn-winter 18/19 collection has appropriated the idea of Nature’s perpetual renewal season after season. “The grace of nature, strong yet fragile, constantly reborn in all its splendor and purity” became Chanel’s own motto for its collection praising its own distinguishable icons, style and allure wavering the passing of time season after season. An untamed landscape where nature has its own sophistication quietly revealing its differences in subtle and unexpected ways – a memorable feast for our senses – was the inspiration for an updated Chanel’s signature aesthetic with a palette of russets, reds and orange, moss and pine green, bark brown, prints of foliage or rings of grey wood, accompanying the signature black and white of the brand.
As always with Chanel, the collection renewed its modernity with a refined twist: here the new long and tubular silhouette is made with square shoulders, clean and high collars. The brand manages to deliver, yet again, a plethora of details: branch-like braids, jewelled buttons chiselled with leaves, sautoirs of beads and pastel-hued glass paste, necklaces and bracelets interlaced with chains and beads, cabochon and graphic pendent earrings. The tweed, classic, downy, frayed or woven, alternated with broadcloth, cotton canvas, soft knits, corduroy and velvet. We had thigh boots, boots and brogues in oxide gold leather, pink leather fingerless gloves, faux fur cuffs encrusted with feathers, and big colourful scarves.
As for the iconic elements of the brand, the jacket has been lengthened to mid-thigh or worn short at the waist. The Chanel suit has been twisted with poncho peplums. In addition, large overcoats adopted the spirit of great capes by adding sleeves with wide turnback cuffs or sometimes cuffs and hems finished with feathers. For the eveningwear wardrobe, sophistication has been pushed to the extreme with a feast of fabrics and crafty details: embroidered and pleated tulle and organza, leather encrusted with lace, lace and black velvet with subtle silver sequins, faux-fur enhanced with feathers. Playing with the transparency of the material, leaf inlayed motifs reveal the very veins of the foliage like a filigree, the house confided. Last, a new bag, named 31, combining smooth leather with quilted leather, printed cotton canvas or tweed, was highlighted. As for the Gabrielle bag, it returns as a mini version to match the outfits. The camellia has been transformed into a sparkling evening bag while a wooden log, the house commented, has been turned into a minaudière in precious resin.
All in all, Chanel has delivered a subtle and highly sophisticated collection inspired by an unexpected parallel between the sense of timelessness of untamed nature and the sense of Chanel timeless style. And it worked wonders.
All photos by Eloise Toidé.