This season, Karl Lagerfeld projects CHANEL into space. In the Centre de lancement N°5 décor in the heart of the Grand Palais and at the foot of an immense 37 meter-high rocket, 90 models reach for the stars wearing boots scintillating like diamond constellations and headbands embroidered with crystals or faux pearls. “It’s a journey through the sky, to the heart of constellations, in the wake of the astronaut Thomas Pesquet,” explains the designer.
The iconic tweed suit is transformed: in a subtle trompe-l’œil, its square shoulder sleeves appear to emerge from a superimposed gilet. The wrists are covered with long silvery fingerless gloves. Beneath the skirts, dresses and coats in tweed, Bermuda shorts complete this slender silhouette in black, white, silver and grey punctuated with hints of colour. Flashing with electric blue and purple, it sparkles with sequins, iridescent thread, crystal embroidery as well as metallic and beaded braids.
When volume takes centre stage, reefer jackets and oversize coats with futuristic buttons come in tweed woven from multi-colour threads or a houndstooth motif, mohair or beige broadcloth. They’re worn with wide-cut trousers with double crêpe turn-ups. Tops in bubbling vinyl are paired with long rocket-style godet skirts.
Straight cuts are based on rigorous structures: an ellipse seam sketches out the contours of the dresses and the coats, and defines the line of the body.
As if ready to receive helmets before heading into outer space, the collars of jackets and dresses in sparkling tweed, satin or double crêpe are high, round and rigid. On the same principle, evening dresses and blouses in chiffon printed with astronauts, play with vertical gravity on jewelled collars resembling Saturn’s rings. Eclipse motifs and prints decorate the knits and black satin dresses. A jacket in midnight blue finished with pearl braids appears to have emerged from the celestial vault. Dresses are embroidered with iridescent threads or combine double crêpe with bubbled vinyl imitating the surface of unexplored planets. Embroidery shimmers like so many constellations: here on the collar and the straps of a bustier dress, there on a fishnet tulle dress inlaid with lace.
In terms of accessories, the BOY CHANEL bag is enriched with a shiny chevron motif, the iridescent clutches are XXL, the minaudières take on the shape of a rocket or a planet and new versions of CHANEL’s GABRIELLE bag come in metallic leather.
The House ambassadors Vanessa Paradis, Pharrell Williams, Lily-Rose Depp, Cara Delevingne, Caroline de Maigret, Alice Dellal, Bai Bai He, William Chan and Nana Komatsu, the directors Sofia Coppola and Deniz Gamze Ergüven, the singer Lily Allen, the rapper Skepta, the American actress Amandla Stenberg, the French actresses Clotilde Hesme, Céline Sallette, Pom Klementieff, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ludivine Sagnier and the dancer Blanca Li all took part in this interstellar journey and watched the rocket launch orchestrated by Karl Lagerfeld for the presentation of the Fall-Winter 2017/18 Ready-to-Wear collection.