In contrast to the snow blizzard on the streets of Paris, stepping into the Grand Palais this afternoon was like arriving at an elegant Italian villa.
Chanel Haute Couture is one of the hottest tickets in town during the busy week of shows, so much so that the Maison stages two runways in one day. Unfortunately Karl Lagerfeld had to skip his usual appearance at the end for both of the editions, with a brand saying in the statement that he was feeling tired and “asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him and greet the guests.”
Taking inspiration from the 18th century Italiana, models walked around the pool at the centre of the set in tweed suits that featured a boat-necklines and accented shoulders, while the dresses felt elegant and refined, with full skirts decorated scattered 3D flowers as though picked from the Mediterranean gardens of the grand villa.
For every delicate moment there was a touch of tough modernity. From the styling of the white tulle skirt with boxier black leather jacket, to the hair being swept up into a punk up do, to the models all striding down the runway in open-heel pointed-toe booties.
As ever, the final flourish of the finest French craftsmanship came in a form of a bridal number, but it was not what we expected. The model came out in a embellished swimsuit, matching swim cap and a long veil – perfect for the Italian Riviera.