Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2011 Collection

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Tuesday July 5th, 2011 – Grand Palais

Tonight the Place Vendome made its home at the Grand Palais, where Karl Lagerfeld chose to recreate the ephemeral plaza to present the Chanel Couture Fall 2011 Show. At the top of the famous column, a statue of Gabriel Chanel, at 36m off the ground, sporting a tweed suit and canotier hat, as if she were supervising the mise en scene. Place Vendome is part of Coco’s Chanel’s life, having lived at the Ritz from 1930 to 1971.

“The set is also for all the persons that will watch the show later on the internet” said Karl Lagerfeld, conscious about the media attention that a Chanel show raises.

Place Vendome is synonymous with fine jewelry. However, the fine jewelry presented at the Chanel Cruise 2012 didn’t make its catwalk appearance at the Chanel Haute Couture Show. “A lady does not walk Place Vendome at 10 pm with fine jewelry on”, pointed out one journalist.

In its place was sparkling tweed, with its encrusted crystals and detailed embroidery done  by Lesage. The transformation, mutation, and mashup of the masculine-feminine codes were the narrative for the show. When we see a double ’boutonnage’ tweed suit, we would normally expect a skirt to pair it, but were treated instead to a bustier dress. It’s all about the Trompe l’Oeil; appearing to be one thing but on closer inspection, being something unique and unexpected.

It wasn’t all smoke and mirrors,  rather a clever nod Lagerfeld’s first collections for Chanel back in the 80’s. The designer will celebrate 30 years of creative directorship  this 2012, although you wouldn’t know it since he isn’t fond of compulsory anniversary celebrations.


See all the looks below:

Photos courtesy of Chanel

Hats by Maison Michel


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