The 17th Century Palace of Versailles was chosen to display Karl Lagerfeld’s latest designs at the fashion house, Chanel. Three of the fountains in the gardens of the palace acted as the backdrop for the creations, which seem to have been inspired by fashions from the time of Princess Henriette of France.
Amongst all the trees and the pebbled-walk, sunshine and clear blue-skies, made the atmosphere très classique French sorbet! Lagerfeld described his collection as “Versailles in a Socialist France” – how very apt a description during times when there is a Socialist President at the helm in France!
This season Karl Lagerfeld opted for ruffles, brocades, corsets, beads, fichus, chambray, harlequin checks, and pastel shades. During the early 1700s, a wide silhouette was preferred in clothes, often accentuated with lace frills, strings of pearls or trumpet shaped bells, and this was exhibited really nicely in the collection.
Light cornflower blue, gold, Japanese purple and light sea green were some of the striking colours on display. Tilda Swinton was amongst the 400-strong audience, all drawn into an enchantment of the look-at-me panniers, and of course what lovers of all things Chanel like to see: the quilted bags and the double-breasted tweed jackets.
The shoes were brotheled creepers, last seen during the Second World War, and the frequent-club haunts that followed after the war. The shoes went along well with all of the frothy looks, with all its suede and crepe, because it added balance to the pastel shades of hairstyles and the plastic cuffs which accessorized pretty much every look.
Miniature-themed sundresses, fashion sparkling with sequins and handcrafted with embroidery…the fervent attitude to the whole show was one of frivolity because this German fashion designer is a firm belief in frivolity, even speaking post-show of how it has saved lives.
The year-long preparation that went into the fashion show, bore fruit: Cara Delevigne opened the show to music by model and musician, Alice Dellal, M.I.A. with the feature perhaps being a remix of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. There was a tent for the audience to relax in, after the show as well, while some classic French nibbles were served: champagne and truffles.
Other celebrity front-row attendees were Colombian fashion designer Haider Ackermann, Amanda Harlech in vintage Adidas, and Chanel, Vanessa Paradis, Sam-Taylor Wood (director of Nowhere Boy), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Nowhere Boy and Anna Karenina).
Here’s Karl talking about one of his favourite French fashion icons, Madame du Barry, one of the mistresses of Louis XV:
'She was the most beautiful woman in France, and the first fashion icon. Marie Antoinette didn't like her.'