© Quentin de Ladelune
© Quentin de Ladelune
The quays of the Seine, its bouquinistes and the cupola of the Institut de France provided a Parisian backdrop to the Fall-Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture show.
Every new Haute Couture collection highlights the collective work of the CHANEL ateliers and its Maisons d'art (embroiderers, feather-workers, glovers, bootmakers). Their exceptional savoir faire skills bring Karl Lagerfeld's creations to life.
The touchstone of the season was a line structured by zippers with a braided trim that ran along the house's iconic tweed suits and evening dresses, splitting slim sleeves with contrasting linings over long, fingerless leather gloves from Causse or skirts and dresses revealing embroidered mini-skirts.
Wearing low heeled cuffed ankle boots by Massaro, this Parisienne coiffed with a Maison Michel velvet headpiece adorned with feathers by Lemarié, cultivates audacity and elegance. Trompe l'oeil dresses, long coats and jackets paired with pleated skirts appeared in a palette of pale gray, anthracite, black, and shades of ocean and midnight blue evoking the colors of the French capital. Tweed, flannel, velvet, crêpe, lace, taffeta, chiffon and silk radzimir were enriched with crystal, bead and sequined embroideries, an embroidery work by Lesage or atelier montex.
Evening brought together structured lines and precious details. Plays of volume and transparency and the contrast of richly embellished bodices with pared down skirts and hems make for a lively silhouette. Fabrics (chiffon, silk georgette, tulle, velvet, taffeta) further elevate the beauty of the CHANEL ateliers' workmanship. There were bustiers paired with bubble skirts, sequined jackets, a top trimmed in feathers over a long, woven bubble skirt; a little black velvet dress and a short, silver peignoir; and a black velvet kimono, its lining embroidered with multicolored flowers. The bride wore pale green leaf-embroidered woolen redingote-style jacket, a reference to the attire worn by members of the French Academy that neatly sums up the spirit of this collection.
In the lead up to the Fall-Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture show, model Adut Akech attended the final fitting with Karl Lagerfeld at 31 rue Cambon in Paris.
© Anne Combaz
Starting from a sample approved by Karl Lagerfeld, olive leaves and braided trim made of rocaille beading in shades of sea green are embroidered by hand. Directly inspired by the green and gold olive branches of the "habit vert" (green attire) worn by members of the "Académie Française", the jacket, the dress and its mini-skirt are then adorned with embroideries by atelier Montex.
The ensemble is accessorized with a fascinator created by Maison Michel in green wool embroidered by atelier Montex and veiled in sequined tulle. Matching low boots by Massaro, in almond green leather embroidered by atelier Montex, finish the look.
© Anne Combaz
First, the sketch is interpreted as a pattern in cotton toile. During this first step of pattern making on a mannequin, the head seamstress recreates the silhouette in three dimensions, following Karl Lagerfeld’s directions, until the silhouette is as the designer imagined it in his sketch.
The pattern is then used to create a "toile" of the look. The placements of future embroideries and braided trim take shape. A model tries it on for Karl Lagerfeld’s approval. The toile is then reproduced in the fabric of his choice, an almond green wool.
Once embroidered by the Maisons d’art, the pieces are returned to the CHANEL ateliers so that the seamstresses can proceed with assembling the garment and placing the braided trim along zippers on the jacket and the dress. The designer named this look "High Profile": "You can open or close the sleeves on the sides. You can also splice open the skirt so the leg looks much prettier in profile — the legs look endless."
1. From The Sea/It Looms (Chapters I & II)
- 1. From The Sea/It Looms (Chapters I & II)00:28
- 2. Black Walls00:28
- 3. Clean Air00:28
- 4. Blue Girl00:28
Pharrell Williams, Liu Wen, Lily-Rose Depp and Penélope Cruz share their impressions of the latest Haute Couture collection after the Fall-Winter 2018/19 show in Paris.