When approaching this collection I made the decision to wait until everything was released. I wanted to see the film, the set, the clothes, the whole package before even thinking about it, before forming an opinion. I’ve now had time to digest it all and really, I found this entire collection and everything surrounding it to be absolutely wonderful. You see, the Metiers d’Art shows are fantastic. Not only do they employ a vast amount of terrific creative techniques and intricate details that are often missed on ready-to-wear shows, taking them to a couture standard, but they always come with a short film accompanying them. I love this.
Some people like to criticise Karl Lagerfeld’s films. They’re not films. And that’s true, they’re a whole different genre. They’re a fashion film and that is the distinction. Fashion films are thinly veiled adverts, a beautiful, creative way to sell clothes, perfume, beauty products, accessories – whatever. People realise this and then decide to bash the film. Let us be honest, these films were never going to be released in film festivals or movie theatres – they are simply an accompaniment to the collections.
This year’s story was a behind-the-scenes look of a proposed movie to be made about the life of Coco Chanel, starring Kristen Stewart as an actress trying to play the young Coco and Geraldine Chaplin playing an older Coco. The whole plot was basically a disastrous movie set with so many changes taking place. They couldn’t decide what parts of Chanel’s life to portray in the movie because nobody knew what was true. For example, in real life much focus on the life of Coco Chanel (besides her apparent Nazism) is on her reported lovers. In the film they had discovered a new, never before mentioned lover and wanted to feature him. It was a fun plot really with a few beautiful costumes and one truly horrific Shakespearian-esque creation. I enjoyed it.
Now on to the actual collection. I am in awe. I simply adored everything about this show. First of all, the set was brilliant. Karl transported Paris to Rome and did so in a way that felt authentic, with the guests sitting at tables as if outdoors at a cafe and even having water on the streets. The idea was to take Paris to Italy instead of creating an Italian based collection. It was romantic, like a love letter to Paris. The models taking their first steps out of the Metro onto the concrete streets was a sweet idea and the route they took (although a little confusing) meant they overlapped and passed each other in the street as if just out for a stroll in their finest outfits.
The main points that I took from the show were:
- I need to get myself a pair of lace tights in a pattern not dissimilar to the ones on the models. Definitely a lot more interesting than my regular black opaques which I’ve realised are terribly passe according to a Vogue article which is always recommended on my Facebook newsfeed. I wonder how much these will actually retail for. I guess we’ll find out next summer. In the meantime, I suggest these lace ones from Next (£8), these Commando ones from Saks (£24), or these Alice + Olivia ones (£22).
- Peacock eyeshadow is a look to try. Fortunately my mum bought a Chanel eyeshadow palette last year which appears to have the exact shade I want to use.
- The classic slingbacks can be reinvented in a black and white colorway and still look perfect. It just reminded me that I still desperately want the beige and black ones though.
- Bejewelled anything works. I want a bejewelled belt, preferably one with some pearls that jangles when I walk. Once I get my hands on said belt, I have a look that I want to wear (I say look because it is so much more than just an outfit) and I have all the components apart from the belt. If I ever wear this imagined outfit I’ll be sure to post a photo.
- Karl will never be finished, ever. People who like to say that he is useless, that Chanel is old-fashioned, just need to take one look at the beauty of this collection and they will be shushed. There were pieces in there for the entire family.
I was simply taken aback by the embellishments in this collection. They were done in the most beautiful ways, like the bejewelled capelet/necklace in look 53. There was also lots of lace (I’m a lover of the material), cosy knits, and cool leather coats. What I loved most about this collection was that it didn’t feel at all stuffy. Many of the looks I could see myself or my peers actually wearing, albeit much lower-budget options. I also feel that I could try and recreate some for a hell of a lot less. Looks 57 and 58 reminded me a lot of the last Givenchy show in New York because they had the same dark romantic mood with the airy fabric and lace.
All in all, I adore this collection. It is the first show in a while that I’ve actually sat and watched and been mesmerized by. I can imagine that the entire audience felt the same way: captivated. The hair and make-up was great, the clothes were fresh and wearable (so important to me), and the set was like a movie. I like a bit of theatre in my fashion shows and Karl always brings that. Another brilliant Metiers d’Art collection and I excitedly await its arrival in-stores. A trip to Bergdorfs may be necessary come the summer!