Twice a year, one of the most beautiful cities in the world becomes even more gorgeous and magical due to the staggering artistry of a handful of famed fashion houses. In January and July, Paris hosts the shows that the members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture stage for their most select clients and lucky members of the international press. These presentations are so much more than mere fashion shows, they are an exhibition of the staggering artistry, creativity, and craftsmanship that only a few fashion houses possess. The house of CHANEL is one of the few official members of this honored body and because of this, the spectacular collections the house shows twice a year can legally be called Haute Couture.
Staged at the Grand Palais, the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2016 Haute Couture show was yet another triumph for Karl Lagerfeld and the house he has helmed since the early 1980s. Known for not only the breathtaking collections that are presented, the house of CHANEL is famed for staging some of the most elaborate and captivating fashion shows each season. This season was a celebration of nature with a calm and serene setting allowing the audience to be totally captivated by the pieces being presented. As always, Lagerfeld married the heritage and history of the house with a fresh infusion of modernity. Much of the collection was done in a varied palette of beiges: ecru, ivory, dove, putty, taupe, and mocha which was a deliberate nod towards Mademoiselle Chanel herself whom Lagerfeld noted was “the Queen of beige.” And for a subtle nod to technology and the modern world, models had a smartphone pouch around their waists that coordinated with their look. Of course there were beautiful tweeds featured throughout the collection, also a hallmark of the house’s heritage, but there were also gorgeous lightweight tulles, organzas, laces, and chiffons. It is in the beading, pleating, embroidery, and adornment of the pieces where the talent of the artisans who craft these dream garments truly shines. Delicate feathered bees, embroidered flowers, wooden birds, and jewel-like beading further continues this high-fashion ode to nature and the sublime.
With over 70 looks in the collection, it is a stunning sampling of blouses, skirts, and ethereal gowns as well as the most elegant of trousers and jackets. In its entirety, the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2016 Haute Couture collection represents thousands of hours of craftsmanship done by only the most skilled hands in Paris. Beyond its obvious beauty, the collection represents artistic talent that few possess and is a reminder that beautiful garments can transcend the world of fashion to become true works of art.
Images c/o: CHANEL