When a haute couture fashion show gets its muse in the form of a kitten (Karl Lagerfeld’s Choupette) who has its own twitter feed (@choupettesdiary) with almost 9,000 followers and is the inspiration for a new Chanel handbag, well things seem to have moved into the surreal.
But when the first exits hit the Chanel garden party catwalk, they looked decidedly realistic. There were fifty shades of gray on display as the models came covered in nubby wool tweeds cut in forgiving shapes of A-line coats, sailor style wide leg pants and full skirts. These styles were accessorized with sparkling opaque gray stockings, snoods and gray leather gloves/sleeves that finished in funnel cuffs.
Slowly the gray outfits started to work in some petal pink shades (the exact color of the inside of Choupette’s ears perhaps) which little by little became the dominant hue of this haute couture show. When the collection moved into evening-wear it tightened up. Dresses were column shaped and came covered in everything from feather pompoms to panels of floral lace.
The title of the collection was “New Vintage” and there were some elements to this collection that looked as if they had come from the past. The loose chiffon bow necklines on the daywear and the liquid silk halter top evening wear come to mind. But the “new” was a bit harder to spot. Maybe it was in the way the designer embellished his outfits with intricate beadwork or how he crafted a slim dress out of strips of raw edged silk.
There was no denying the craftsmanship on display in this haute couture show, but there was something indefinable that was missing to really make this collection purr.