Chanel Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
There could be a lot of correlations made between the Chanel art themed show and how the fashion world and the art world are moving closer and closer together. That the lines are being blurred between what is art and what is fashion, or commerce vs. creativity. But what really came across in the 89 looks was that Karl Lagerfeld was feeling seriously inspired this season.
The designer poured out a collection full of inventive variations on a painterly theme. Each outfit was unique and yet helped pushed the art idea forward until the next model, that came down the runway, could pick up the relay.
A runway with walls covered in 75 pieces of original Chanel inspired modern art. Some of which had little red dots next to their names - including “Door II”, a propped up bathroom door with a stick figure wearing a Chanel suit and bag and “Russian Gardenia”, a giant Ballets Russes poster panted over with the image of Coco Chanel’s favorite bloom- to indicate they had already been sold. Was it just another layer in the performance art piece that was this spring/summer 2014 show? Or had some Chanel devotees actually gone ahead and bought that art off the walls? It was a question to ponder while the show unfurled before the cast of thousands in the audience.
The strongest and most visually striking pieces in this collection were the ones that were born from the idea of color swatches. Vibrant, thanks to their fundamental function of showing gradated degrees of color, but also graphic in their square blocking presentation, the swatches were a stellar starting point. Each flowing silk dress, fringe skirt or mille-feuille top had a joyful energy about them. And they practically screamed “iconic” as they came down the runway paired with plastic see though heels worn with wooly socks that gave the footwear a trompe l'oeil effect and a giant jawbreaker sized pair of pearls worn as a necklace or encircling the wrists.
But the color swatch pieces weren’t the only memorable looks in this collection. And that is saying something considering how much there was to take in.
The first group of frayed pink toned tweed ensembles, which looked as if our artist had lovingly worn them to death, was a fresh deconstructed take on the Chanel classic. Particularly on one that split the tweed up to act as a crop top and the wide waist band of some nicely tailored trousers, and on a skirt that framed the ragged tweed with pure white lace. Also eye catching were the grey leather looks, their ombré coloring bringing to mind a primed painter’s canvas.
Packing equal punch as the clothing were the accessories of this collection. Besides the aforementioned heels and pearl necklaces (which by the end of the day had found their way onto more than one fashionista) there were the bags. It’s going to be hard for fans to choose between the cool Chanel backpacks covered in lucky charms, the mini quilted bags -framed like art – inside black Perspex, the metal handle clutch bags, the oversized totes adorned with jewel like beads, and the latest “Lego” bags, the list goes on and on.
Lagerfeld found the fashion sweet spot with this collection, that magic place where art and commerce combine perfectly.