Chanel's Couture Show Convinced Us It's Spring

Chanel's Couture Show Convinced Us It's Spring

Karl Lagerfeld's melding of Chanel's legacy and the new generation (like Kaia Gerber) made for a dynamic show.

Karl Lagerfeld's melding of Chanel's legacy and the new generation (like Kaia Gerber) made for a dynamic show.

Photography: Schohaja

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

For many, Chanel’s Haute Couture show is the highlight of the fashion season. After attending it for the first time, I can see why: Karl Lagerfeld’s ability to manifest an IRL meeting point between old and new worlds seems to whisper to guests, “You’re witnessing history in the making.”

The Palais Royale is 379 years old and has been an epicenter of Parisian culture since its birth. On the other hand, Lagerfeld’s current model obsession (well, everyone’s current obsession, really)—Kaia Gerber—is only 16 years old. Moreover, she came to fame via tabloids and Instagram, two forms of media that were unimaginable to those who read about the shows in newspapers ages ago. Pairing the legacy with the new modernizes the former and legitimizes the latter; this was, after all, Gerber’s debut couture show.

Considering the recent announcement that Gerber and Lagerfeld will be releasing a capsule collection together in September, her debut at Chanel was to be expected. Other girls included V111 cover star Grace Elizabeth as well as show opener Luna Bijl. While many of Chanel’s shows have the air of a debutante ball, this season also added a ladies-who-lunch vibe, with each model appearing to be on her way to an elegant garden party. This had to do, of course, with the set, which surrounded a serene fountain with tall, ivy-covered fences, convincingly selling a springtime that starkly contrasted this week’s grey weather in Paris. Overall, the atmosphere was much simpler than in seasons past, during which Lagerfeld had transformed the palace into an airline terminal or a grocery store.

The clothes went in tandem with their botanical surroundings, often playing off of a floral theme in shades of violet, greenish blues and bursts of periwinkle. Things started off with the brand’s traditional bouclé suits, which were often cropped this season or paired with shorts. Then came the fairy-like gowns, which sometimes came in tulip shapes and veered towards powder pink. There was an obvious bridal inspiration, with girls sporting short, crystal-embellished veils made of mesh and topped with individualized bouquets. Hudson Kroenig, Chanel’s favorite child model, even played flower boy at the end.

Karl Lagerfeld himself sported a new beard, which actually looked amazing, and has been the buzz of the Internet. All in all, the experience left me with a certain starstruck “je ne said quoi,” not because of the actual celebrities that orchestrated, walked in, or attended the show, but the clothes, which still carry the fashion house’s original and classic DNA from its start in 1910. Go behind-the-scenes and see looks from the decadent show below.

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