As this week has already proven, and with some influential names nonetheless to current, high fashion can imply very various things to totally different designers. A platform for a hovering creativeness or a response to the zeitgeist maybe, or a showcase for the technical artistry of the ateliers and the fournisseurs who provide these ateliers with extraordinary textiles, equipment, and gildings.
For Chanel’s Creative Director Virginie Viard, her collections mirror the pragmatic wants and wishes of the home’s purchasers and her personal eclectic however by no means fantastical sources of inspiration. Not for Viard the sweeping statements of her mentor Karl Lagerfeld, who may impose a strong new silhouette on virtually each look in a set, however as an alternative a way of light evolution and a myriad of references and inspiration sparks that may vary (as on this assortment) from a blinding reminiscence of Inès de Fressange dressed by Lagerfeld in a jacket of shiny grass inexperienced and stunning pink (for a 1988 Chanel couture present, when Viard first joined the home), to a shot of Fred Astaire in cinematic motion, the tails of his white tie night coat caught flaring out in mid-dance transfer, to a nineteenth century shot of a real-life Annie Oakley, to archive Chanel references from slouchy Nineteen Twenties day fits to slithery Nineteen Thirties robes to prim Sixties tailoring, to Lagerfeld’s vividly impressionistic sketches from the 2000s.
None of those references, nevertheless, are utilized by Viard in what the French name the premier degré, that’s, actually, however as an alternative function beginning factors for outfits that evolve with the enter of the textile designers and makers who weave these extraordinary painterly tweeds, and the dressmakers who perceive the best way to make excellent pleats that “transfer superbly,” as visitor Sigourney Weaver enthused, “and are simply so elegant.”
That Astaire flare, as an example, may translate into the kick on the hem of a calf size skirt, the Oakley picture right into a dirndl skirt with sensible pockets that encourage a sure assertive physique language (and maybe these sturdy brief gaucho using boots), the ’30s home archive references into slinky night attire deftly minimize to fall straight to the ground when standing nonetheless, however that break into swirling motion beneath the knee when the wearer walks.
To set the scene, Viard reached out once more to the artist Xavier Veilhan who created a Constructivist set for the spring couture assortment. This time, Veilhan constructed a sequence of buildings that shaped a symbolic panorama (arches, bullseye targets, mobiles, cubes of bubblegum pink recycled plastics) within the sandy out of doors stadium of the equestrian L’Étrier de Paris heart within the Bois de Boulogne. Company walked by way of or round these buildings earlier than shifting indoors to extra sand and a set of kinetic coloration blocks in black, white, sand yellow, and grey. This gently recommended one thing of the artwork deco taste to the drop-waisted attire and linear shapes that appeared in some appears within the assortment (and included an eye fixed popping Taroni silk that Viard paired with a trendy bolero in stripes of black and white sequins and bugle beads).
The symphonic soundtrack, created by Viard’s buddy Sébastien Tellier, was set to a video projected on a large display screen as a backdrop to the parade of women, an impressionistic clip that featured an various forged together with Charlotte Casiraghi and Pharrell Williams. That eclecticism continued with the garments, showcasing wonderful textiles—lace painted in resin; a bathe of embroidered leaves on a white tulle trapeze costume, shadowing a print of the identical motif beneath; an all-over deco print on a bell-skirted coat costume that on nearer inspection turned out have been totally beaded in sequins by Lesage; or tufts of ostrich plumes painstakingly utilized to black chiffon and glimpsed by way of the openings in a streamlined trench coat of textured black tweed.
Sadly, on this epic set and seen from a distance, a lot of these very refined particulars, identified by Viard throughout a becoming within the Chanel atelier on the eve of the presentation, and so lovely within the hand, had been misplaced. What remained was a hypnotic sense of the light move of pleats and of cloth dexterously manipulated by extremely expert fingers in order that the impact—achieved by way of years of know-how and savoir-faire—appeared easy. In different phrases, pure high fashion.