Karl Lagerfeld’s inspiration for Chanel’s Fall 2014 Couture collection was the famous architect Le Corbusier. A long cherished dream for the designer it translated into real delight for his growing number of fans everywhere...
It started with a casual glimpse of the visionary architect’s long-gone Paris apartment which featured a huge terrace with a fireplace. So it witnessed huge fireplaces on either end of the runway stoked by digital flames while above each loomed large old baroque mirrors. To match the stark geometry of Corbu’s designs, even the extravaganzas associated with the famed brand’s shows were scaled down.
Lagerfeld’s indulgence in Corbusier didn’t stop there. The architect is credited with making concrete a staple of modern design. So for the first time ever perhaps concrete turned into the foundation of a couture collection. And though couture implies cutting and seaming, in Chanel’s collection everything was molded.
So he took lace and coated it with silicone. Think pink but think of plastic too. All in an effort to turn couture more youthful and to urge us all to dare to tear down stereotypes and become more passionately creative. (Like him perhaps, which is, a really tall order btw)...
There were some truly stand out numbers like a black, full-sleeved dress fashioned in sumptuous fabric and highlighted by rich gold embroidery all over, a line of star-studded buttons coming down and a warm, soft furry collar with the entire look clinched by a tube-like metal belt at the waist.
The maestro built his silhouette on shorts. So coatdresses were worn over shorts, over jackets and over skirts and were teamed with sandals for footwear. Considerate of the designer too as Lagerfeld himself explained, “The models can walk in those dresses like they’re nothing”.
Now who would ever dispute that, considering those dreadful incidents of unlucky models on impossibly high stilettos, just toppling over on runways? So his models must have definitely blessed him silently for the choice of footwear.
In the closing moments came a long line of chalk-white gowns almost penitent-like but highlighted by tasteful embroidery which captured the contrast in Coco Chanel’s life: the austerity of her professional life against the exotic Oriental allure of the icon at home. The cherry on the pie so to speak was a 7-months pregnant bride, the Kiwi model Ashleigh Good with a magnificent train featuring gold embroidery, a very interesting neckline clinched by a gorgeous gold motif and a neat line of crystal buttons trailing down from her waist to the hemline.