Runway Report: CHANEL Fall/Winter 2018/2019 Prêt-à-Porter

We are barely out of winter but thanks to the recently wrapped Fashion Month, I’m already looking forward to colder days again thanks to the Fall/Winter collections. As to be expected, CHANEL did not disappoint with their Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection. It proved to be a highlight of the standout season of collections that were just shown in Paris. Having transformed the Grand Palais into a moody forest replete with fallen leaves and bare-branched trees, Monsieur Lagerfeld set the tone for a collection in rich autumnal shades that makes one actually wish for colder days. And on the subject of the Grand Palais, the House of CHANEL has recently announced its commitment to providing 25 million Euros for the preservation and restoration of this spectacular Parisian gem. Having hosted CHANEL’s prêt-à-porter and Haute Couture shows since 2005, this grande dame of Paris has become part of the CHANEL universe, and it’s wonderful to see the House’s commitment to protecting its glory and beauty.

With a color palette inspired by the sumptuous colors of fall, there were beautiful russets and reds interspersed with orange, moss, pine green, and bark brown. The house’s classic tones, crisp black and white, were also featured alongside thematic prints of foliage and rings of grey wood for a playful nod to the seasonal theme. These natural motifs are also found throughout the collection with branch-like braids, jewelled buttons chiselled with leaves, and jewelry featuring some particularly stunning pendant earrings and sautoirs. The iconic CHANEL tweed, truly one of the great hallmarks of the House, was the predominant fabrication of the collection. Done in the classic style as well as frayed and woven, it played beautifully against the broadcloth, cotton canvas, soft knits, corduroy and velvet that also appeared on the runway.

A long and almost tubular line is the silhouette of the collection. With strong square shoulders and clean high collars that frame the face beautifully, the structure of the pieces paired perfectly with the slouchy knit cowls that many models donned down the runway. For the iconic CHANEL suit, this season features poncho peplums with the jacket being lengthened to either mid-thigh or worn short and hitting at the waist. Paired with skirts and dresses or belted trousers, Lagerfeld plays with volume and proportion masterfully as he continues to re-interpret this classic CHANEL garment. Keeping with the cold weather tone of the collection, coats feature heavily throughout. From double-breasted and long pencil-cut versions, to large overcoats skimming the floor, there are even elegant embellishments found in the form of wide turnback cuffs, and cuffs and hems finished with feathers.

Lagerfeld heavily features another classic CHANEL piece for the final looks of the collection. Having first been introduced and championed by Mademoiselle Chanel over half a century ago, the CHANEL little black dress is a beautifully delicate foil to the heavy overcoats and tweed that appeared on the runway. Done in tulle and organza and embellished with ribbons, sequins, lace, they were paired with impossibly chic quilted down jackets done in the style of the classic CHANEL jacket. Eveningwear showcases the sartorial interplay of the masculine and the feminine, done so beautifully by the house of CHANEL, and is represented in leather and lace mixing ever so elegantly.

With shades of Bianca Jagger and Jane Birkin on a cold winter’s day, the Fall/Winter collection presented by Monsieur Lagerfeld is quite possibly the most beautiful way to combat the frigid temperatures of the winter months. While at times the pieces veered towards the serious and powerful (yet no less elegant), the collection still retains that love and appreciation of femininity that Lagerfeld injects into his designs through beautiful embellishments and contrasting delicate fabrics. Following the triumph of his unapologetically feminine and downright romantic Haute Couture collection shown only weeks before, this collection is an incredible display of Monsieur Lagerfeld’s creativity, depth, and unfailingly brilliant creative direction of this legendary House.

The Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection also premiered an exciting new development in the world of CHANEL, a gorgeous new style of bag. Make sure to catch my article on Friday to learn all about the 31 bag and the other stunning accessories of the collection!