Luxury fashion label Chanel used Paris Fashion Week to explore the themes of robots, tech, data and its classic statement fabrics. WGSN’s news contributor Sandra Halliday reports.
What exactly is wearable tech? A few years ago we all thought we’d be speaking into our jacket microphones and switching on lights with our jeans. But today in Paris Karl Lagerfeld gave us a different view at Chanel.
And why not? This is a heritage brand that’s continually reinvented for the modern age while still retaining the signatures that Coco Chanel herself would recognise.
So the show opened with two models in Chanel suits that were classic with a capital C. But suits aside, they were dressed as robots in the kind of robot helmets that would make a Star Wars fan proud and robot-style boots and mittens too.
To say it felt a little weird is an understatement but then we should have known what to expect given the data centre backdrop in front of which the spring/summer 2017 collection was played out. And ‘data centre’ was the collection’s big idea.
Lagerfeld’s reworked Chanel suits featured plenty of ideas that would fit more easily into a modern woman’s wardrobe in 2017 but the data centre idea came in with colour combos and the tweeds with patterns resembling data centre components.
The silhouette was eased on jackets with rounded shoulders with the sleeves gently volumised away from the slimline cuts that have dominated for so long.
Skirts were slim but not fitted, gently A-line or that weren’t even skirts at all (mini culottes were a big feature). In some cases the skirt was used as an overall with a lace slip peeking out from underneath.
Adding to the tech effect were prints on fluid trapeze dresses that mimicked the effect of the lights from fast moving traffic at night.
The whole tech idea worked well, possibly better than some individual items like baseball caps worn sideways. However, they’ll most likely sell and sell, as will the mini bags and ankle wrapped perforated pumps. Let’s face it, Lagerfeld is a master at combining commercial fashion with a ‘big idea’ that keeps the cash registers ringing.
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