Paris:  For Chanel this season, Karl Lagerfeld conjured a luminous underwater world, as models emerged from a white coral reef backdrop with pearl-dabbled hair, and singer Florence Welch performed standing in a giant clam shell. A culmination of key S/S 12 trends, the collection touched on a range of silhouettes, from minimalist to ladylike, while the use of icy metallics, sheer layers and shiny coated materials referenced light reflections on water. Opening with a series of minimalist tweed Chanel suits, the theme evolved in the form of ruffled dresses and skirts that recalled frothy waves and leather separates with opalescent organza strips that resembled seaweed. A subtle palette of pale pastels was enlivened with sea-inspired embellishment — iridescent sequins, chiffon “scales,” pearl buttons and trim. Active influences were present in a variety of looks, especially a long, drawstring skirt in slinky, opalescent material that paired with an airy top of sheer tiers — most successful in evoking a futuristic mermaid.  —Anna Jane Davis

Silhouette: Boxy with rounded shoulders / Drop waist

Color: White / Black / Shell pink / Seafoam / Icy Metallics / Pale Blue / Light Teal / Pearlescent Grey

Key Items: Boxy tweed suit / Little leather shorts / Frilly ruffle minidress / Sheer tiered top

Materials:  Organza / Voile / Tweed / Chiffon / Gauzy lace / Leather / Laminated + metallic materials / Basketweave / Sweater knits

Print + Pattern: Painterly underwater print / Houndstooth

Details + Trim: Pearl buttons + trim / Iridescent sequins / Marabou / Torn chiffon petals + chiffon “scales” / Frothy ruffles / Pleated tiers / Crystals + beads / Contrast “taping”

Accessories + Footwear: Mod ankle boots in silver, black or white / Lace-up, ankle wrap sandals / Pearl hair pins + pearl strands around the waist / Embellished clutches

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