© Olivier Saillant
© Olivier Saillant
The Art Deco ambiance of 31 rue Cambon and the play of light on the shards of mirror decorating the walls of the famous staircase designed by Gabrielle Chanel inspired the set for the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2017 catwalk show, held in the main hall of Paris's Grand Palais.
A huge cylinder ornamented with a myriad of mirrors takes center stage. The floor is entirely hidden by smoked glass mirrors imitating Chanel's signature quilted effect, the air scented by great sheafs of arum lilies. This magnificent hall of mirrors formed the perfect backdrop for some seventy of Karl Lagerfeld's designs.
The collection's guiding thread was a palette of delicate hues brightened by metallic notes in an impeccably designed silhouette, creating a Haute Couture spirit which owes its elegance to its absolute minimalism. Pastel tones of beige, pink, yellow, green and blue, together with grays and whites, are combined with touches of silver, sequins, and shimmering colors for a fresh look. The silhouette is very feminine, with a belt slighlty higher than the waiste, structured shoulders, and a focus on the hips. The suits follow the same line, some belted, others draped at the waist with a tulip skirt, softened with a lavaliere to create the trompe-l'oeil effect of a coat dress. Under shimmering tweed coats, pleated skirts and dresses in pales shades form a striking contrast.
The season's evening wear is sumptuous, with sheaths and full-bodied dresses, tulle stoles; bustiers, and long skirts in precious, light-as-air fabrics that bring an touch of gaiety. Radzimir, duchesse satin, organza, taffetas, flocked and laminated lace, tulle, jacquard, and georgette are ornamented with precious embroidery and a feather trim. Waists are again cinched in, gracefully underlining the flow or volume of each garment, heightening the sensation of airy gaiety magnified by touches of silver, sheets of acetate, glittering sequins, and mirror embroidery.
The models wore their hair slicked down in a contemporary twist on boyishly short cuts, some with a flattened boater tilted backwards. All walked down the catwalk in silver leather stilettos or precious embroidered thigh boots.