First impressions gathered after the Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear show in Paris. Interviews by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.
The Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear show transported us to a typical Parisian boulevard miraculously erected under the glass dome of the Grand Palais, where 80 models casually strolled past the "boulevard Chanel's" facades while donning the collection's myriad looks.
The collection is decidedly optimistic and rich with a variety of propositions that Karl Lagerfeld used to set the tone right from the start: these Chanel women are free-spirited and daring; they progress far beyond mere social norms; they are independent, modern and active, in the very image of Gabrielle Chanel. Firmly rooted in their day and age, they walk the streets of major cities with long, confident strides.
With their tweed pantsuits accessorised by vibrant silk neckties, these professional women are a perfect blend of masculine and feminine. Their elegant, comfortable style is inspired by menswear with double-breasted blazers and boxy jackets, cuffed wide-leg trousers and flat boots. The base remained feminine however, through a palette of vibrant colors (orange, pink, purple, blue, green) and flamboyant prints (florals, watercolor prints) interpreted on blouses, neckties and scarves, as well as boots and loafers. The skirt suit was paired with printed fabric boots; soft, flowing blouses were punctuated with a pointed, elongated collar, and a tennis stripe adorned generous cuffed bermuda shorts to give them an urban flair. Open derby shoes closed by an ankle strap appeared in gold and black leather, black and white leather, as well as black satin versions. Chanel's iconic colors of black, white and navy served as the foundation of this easy-to-wear wardrobe.
From long tweed coats lined with printed silk to military-inspired khaki suede jumpsuits, a sailor stripe knit that is as fresh a look in the city as it is at the beach, gauzy blouses, lace and dresses embroidered with small scale-like tiles interspersed with tiny flowers, summer of 2015 will focus on the winds of freedom that blew during the years 1968-1970. The whole collection is a play on proportions, layering and transparency. Immaculate white blouses with wide collars are cinched with a gold belt to give the bermuda short a feminine touch.
The collection's accessories added a whimsical, humorous twist to its message of freedom: clutches were stamped with messages like "Féministe mais Féminine" and "Make Fashion not War.” A new bag incorporating all of the codes of the Chanel jacket (tweed, braid, buttons) made its debut with soft leather handles that allow it to be worn over the shoulder or tied around the waist.
© Olivier Saillant