I confess I was confused by Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2017 show. Not the clothing and accessories – many of the looks are stunning as well as wearable and saleable. Designer Karl Lagerfeld achieved his aim of “timeless but immortal” combining “sweet femininity and sportif.“
But the show itself left me perplexed. Granted, I’m no fashion expert, but merely an aficionada. The spectacle cannot be properly appreciated online. Nor does video capture the beauty and detail of the fine colorful tweeds, silks and lace. Or even the magic of the pixelated computerized stage. But on some level it was like playing Sesame Street’s “one of these things is not like the others” with computer coding, Star Wars, robots and 90s era rappers.
Karl Lagerfeld described the underlying theme as tech: “Not technology in a cold way, but intimate technology.” I get that. The show began with two Star Wars Stormtrooper-like models (verified by my son) each sporting a desirable classic Chanel jacket, one in black and one in white. Or in Karl’s words: “the most iconic jacket of the show on a creature from an unknown future.”
Chanel Spring/Summer 2017 | The Business of Fashion/Tim's Take - Interview with Karl Lagerfeld
The R2D2-like robot minaudiere is destined to be a galactic collectible, suitable for Chanel and Star Wars fans alike.
Choupette, Karl’s beloved feline, makes many appearances on pendants and charms. Karl must imagine a future with his cat. Okay…
Perhaps velcro clothing closures are meant to signify technology in a low tech/low cost kind of way…as well as a direct threat to delicate lesage fabrics. Not sure I’m buying that. Then again, maybe real spacesuits use velcro. Better ask NASA.
A majority of the looks were topped by baseball caps worn sideways – hence the 90s era rapper reference (and for many looks, heavy gold chains completed the ensemble). Isn’t that a look back rather than forward. Some of the caps were in tweeds to match outfits but others were just colorful. In a video interview, Karl explains he was trying to make a popular item seem more like a refined fashion hat.
Purses are always hard to see in show video and the early stills, but I detected more boys, box-shaped bags, folios and a hard-to-discern bucket-like sac.
Interestingly, there were only two shapes of shoes – a sporty ballet flat and a ballet heel with ankle wraps.
Whether you’re old school or high tech, you’ll probably find something you like.
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Updated: May 27th, 2017