Runway Report: CHANEL Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017

The biannual presentations of the CHANEL Haute Couture collections are two of the most important shows that the fashion world, and I, greatly anticipate each year. It is during these two presentations, once in July for the Fall/Winter collection and again in January for the Spring/Summer collection, that the House of CHANEL shows pieces that transcend the notion of being simply a garment on a runway. Instead, these exquisitely handcrafted creations are sculptures come to life in the form of silk, satin, tweed, lace, and other luxurious fabrics. With only a handful of houses possessing the legal designation to produce these incredible collections under the highly distinguished term “haute couture”, the House of CHANEL never fails to amaze under the expert direction of Monsieur Karl Lagerfeld.

The CHANEL Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017 collection is nothing short of pure perfection.

I could easily end my article with the previous sentence and simply let you marvel at the collection through these photos. However, I would be truly remiss in not sharing the details and inspiration behind such a masterful collection. The Grand Palais was transformed as always into a setting imagined by Monsieur Lagerfeld, this time evoking the ambiance of the famed 31, rue Cambon. With the decor being a beautifully executed nod to the Art Deco movement of the 1930s and the mirrors that reflect the legendary staircase that Mademoiselle Chanel would perch atop at her original Paris boutique, the set allowed the attendees to be awed by each piece in the artfully placed mirrors that created the impression of the models moving by infinitely.

Models had slicked back hair, many with a delightful little top hat that appeared flattened and tilted backward as to highlight glowing skin and a subtle shimmer about the eyes. With the collection being a celebration of utter femininity, nipped waists and defined hips featured prevalently throughout. The altogether glamorous silhouette also featured elegantly structured shoulders and alluringly low-cut décolletés that was offset with silver leather high heels or adorned thigh-high boots. The color palette featured the house’s signature black, white, silver, grey, beige and navy as well as etherial pinks, yellows, blues, and pastel greens.

The house’s signature tweed is found throughout the collection alongside duchess satin, organza, tulle, delicate lace and other decidedly luxe fabrics. Intricate embroidery and beading also feature alongside draping and pleating that have been elevated to an art form. Appearing seemingly effortlessly, these finishings represent the artistry of the ateliers where these incredible creations are produced. The iconic CHANEL suit features an elegant and unabashedly feminine tulip skirt that only serves to enhance a woman’s natural shape. Dresses and gowns, always a spectacular highlight of the couture collections, feature trim little nipped waists and full skirts as well as figure-hugging lines that only further emphasize the expert construction of the pieces. With mirrored embroidery, feathers, and embellished lace, these gowns represent all that is glorious and incredible about the world of haute couture. As for the wedding gown worn to close the show by ambassandrice Lilly Rose Depp, it was a staggering confection of the most delicate pale pink organza featuring a diaphanous skirt that would have made even Marie Antoinette swoon.

From the set to the collection itself, the Spring/Summer Haute Couture Collection is a celebration of the heritage and enduring vision of Mademoiselle Chanel through the brilliant eyes of Karl Lagerfeld and a testament to the incredible world of haute couture.

Photography: CHANEL