Monday, December 13, 2010

Chanel Pre-Fall 2011

I died and went to heaven when I spotted the first photo from this collection. Chanel's pre-fall show complimented the Grand Palais display so marvellously, words cannot describe. This contributes to my extensive list of reasons as to why Karl Lagerfeld is such a genius - he just... gets it. Life! I'm just kidding (but if you feel the same way about Lagerfeld, who are we fooling). To maintain the magic of Chanel he has had to understand not only his clientele, the ever-changing fashion industry, and ultimately design unto itself, but also the concept of fashion; what fashion, beauty, art etc. etc. really means. And maybe to you kind reader fashion is just clothes or fabrics, or current fads. But fashion, like art, is a feeling, it is an idea, an inspiration, a reverie. Fashion is so much more than a physical garment, it is the craftsmanship, passion, and reason that is put into the development of a story (a collection). Karl has had to tap into Coco Chanel herself and to understand her on a deep, intellectual level. He has been successful in capturing Chanel the label, but in also exploring Chanel as the existence of ideas.

In terms of the collection - it is spectacular for so many reasons. Why is everyone doing flats right now? Oh right because they are so simplistically perfect AND because they capture such a strong mood. I.e the informal and personalized, rugged but also so very chic atmosphere that was the setting for the show - which I will discuss after. The colour palate and choice of textiles is so rich and warm. The details... oh boy the details. I think that what makes something truly Chanel is the attention to detail, the craftsmanship of every piece produced which is completely delicious (you didn't think I was going to get through this entire post without saying delicious did you!). I love his take on the the Empress Theodora and the lost culture of Byzantium as inspiration and how he mixed this with 1960s London. It is so rad that he can allow such opposites coexist within the same collection. Yum!  And from reading the review on I found it interesting for him to have such structure to his collections in terms of positioning this take on historical inspiration versus his previous futuristic collection from last season. It is a very cohesive collection and the story progresses as the show goes on. Further, I think that Uncle Karl does such an incredible job of maintaining cohesion between all seasons - there is just that Chanel look even though each collection constantly evolves as a new concept.

I think that what I want to talk about most is the atmosphere of the show which compliments the collection so perfectly. Lately I have been thinking about how a show defines the mood of a collection and how important it is in terms of our understanding of the meaning behind design (Burberry did a shit job of this for SS/11.. what? did I just say that? Yes.). Karl created such a lavish atmosphere and his clothes were given so much more meaning. They weren't just clothes they became a story, a feeling, a passion, a rich history. They became a full embodiment of a string of thoughts. It is the theme that sets us into a particular state of mind and assists us in the breaking down of meaning behind Karl's designs. He is a storyteller. The show, the show, the show... I'm in love what can I say? Not even with the clothes, because yeah there are things from the collection that definitely wowed me, but mostly from this inexplainable feeling that he set in my mInd. It's pure magic. The show basically blew my mind in the best of ways, especially as a compliment to every other season.

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