© Olivier Saillant


© Olivier Saillant


The salons of 31 rue Cambon were recreated to fit the colossal dimensions of the Grand Palais… It was in this classical yet extravagant décor that Karl Lagerfeld presented the Chanel Fall-Winter 2016/17 Ready-to-Wear collection. In a spectacular perspective, pure ivory arches rose up on mirrored columns to meet the breathtaking steel and glass roof of the Palais under a cold blue Parisian sky.

The guests, including international stars – Willow Smith and her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, Pharrell Williams – writers – Simon Liberati, Eva Ionesco and French actresses faithful to the House of Chanel – Clotilde Hesme, Isabelle Huppert, Anna Mouglalis, Élodie Bouchez, were given "front row only seats". With an elegance echoing the Haute Couture salons Gabrielle Chanel used for her showings, Karl Lagerfeld created a system so that each guest would see the collection from the first row.

The first looks appeared to the gentle notes of "Michelle ma Belle", wearing tweed boater hats with quaint rounded brims and laced riding boots.

A wide palette of pink including hues of fuchsia, with the tweeds and knits sometimes sequined or iridescent, was followed by variations in black. Black and gold, black and leather or quilted black, in homage to one of the quintessential patterns of the Chanel jacket. In a sophisticated game of optical illusions, voluminous oversized coats were set off with tweed jackets retailored as boleros, while the camellia was a graphic theme, printed in XXL format on loose pants. Pearls, worn as bracelets or long necklaces, accented the simple lines of a tweed coat dress, and rhinestone cuffs covered short mittens.

While playing with iconic pieces such as midi-skirts, masculine pea coats, tweed jackets and black and white evening dresses, the Chanel Fall-Winter 2016/17 collection remains totally modern with playful touches such as bobbin thread handbags and emoticon jewelry but also smartphone breast pockets and shoulder bags for tablets.

Once again, Karl Lagerfeld has confirmed the classic and visionary force of the House of Chanel and rue Cambon.


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