At the Chanel show in the city’s Grand Palais, it was summer for couture. Inspired by 18th century lifestyle, particularly the taste making skills of Madame de Pompadour who supplied her splendid houses and dinners with her beloved flora in the winter months when her gardens had died. So did Lagerfeld as well turning his couture show into a blossoming summer garden. Elaborating Parisian merchants who supplied the wealthy of the 18th century with luxury goods of all sorts – from silken ribbons to gilded picture frames to sumptuous furnishes Lagerfeld portrayed a rather decadent look suggesting more with the length of the skirts, the volume of the hairs, the collars of the jackets and the make up too. It was colorful, with excessive flower embroidery, a substantial amounts of ostrich  feathers, ruffles, pink hand-colored lace and sprinkled sparkles over the flowery labyrinths in the folds of the balloon shaped couture gowns in pastel violet, sky blue, peppermint and bubblegum. 


The set unfolded around sun bleached gravel paths and ornate terraces in front of Villa Chanel, reminiscent of La Vigie, a property perched on a cliff top above Monte Carlo Beach Club and occupied by Lagerfeld during the Eighties. The classic Chanel boucle suit was upgraded with a looser, undone boater neckline and a longer skirt length, and presented in sweet shades of bubble gum and peppermint while the house’s eternal dedication to the little black dress was also celebrated unveiling tulle styles embroidered impeccably with iridescent gems. The ornate floral details give a sense of Riviera opulence. Floral embroidery, which saw flora and fauna from plexiglas and resin and then hand painted and used to create points of remarkable detail on sleeves and collars, confirmed Chanel’s reputation as couturier which is second to none.


Lagerfeld tried to remake the gardens and spirit of that couture decadence he made flowers in feathers and hand-painted sequins, using even dry flowers dipped in resin, that were embroidered or applied to materials from airy organza, chiffon, and lace, to gleaming leather and the house signature hand-woven tweeds. The height of the expertise of Chanel’s stuff further excelled in hand-painting lace and iced it with silicone whorls to suggest blue or pink and white china. There was a lot of volume in feather and shape, the collars stood out, simply there were layers upon layers of edgy couture. The lean tailoring focused on a firm, angler shoulder line to the jackets and pencil-skirts that also exploded into kick pleats at the calf . That narrow silhouette was broken occasionally with a flurry or asymmetric ruffles, or loops of fabric or ostrich feather fronds, draped into panniers to suggest an 18th century silhouette a la Pompadour.


 Only Lagerfeld has the authority to suggest such silhouettes and attributes under the banner of haute couture and mark them extreme beauty, and suddenly you are given a whole new world to adorn yourselves with, delicately embroidered into the elite.  

The show closed with a bridal look, this time a sequined, seashell encrusted bathing suit with a sparkling swimming cap with a veil attached to it, suggesting that somewhere it really is summer . Chanel’s haute couture show brought the height of summer to snowy Paris.


All copyrights of photos go to their respectful owners / Vogue / Pinterest




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