Models depart Chanel's deep sea world at Spring/Summer 2012 Paris Fashion Week
WHO? Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel
IN A NUTSHELL: Paris' Grand Palais was transformed into a white coral reef, replete with white sand and Florence and the Machine playing in a huge conch shell (as you do). The clothes embraced this deep sea theme, with shell pink, sand and opalescent whites dominant. Chanel might be synonymous with girls with pearls, but for Spring/Summer 2012 Lagerfeld grabbed his snorkel and examined these objects in their natural environment. Pearls were dotted them like flotsam and jetsam on the models' water-drenched hair as well as on waistbands and bodices. There were bubble sleeves, iridescent sequins, sheer spun sugar weaves, patent leathers, torn chiffon ruffles that moved like reefs and undulating shell-like lines – all of which added up to a floating, dreamlike world.
BEG, BORROW OR STEAL: The classic Chanel suit had a slouchy feel, with nice deep pockets and hipster flared skirts. For evening (if our bank balances permitted) we loved the crystal bandeau dress that melted into a zillion pieces of torn chiffon. Accessories were also strong from the terribly practical flat silver ankle booties to the terribly impractical conch clutches.
F-ROW: Uma Thurman, Alexa Chung, Clemence Poesy, Rachel Zoe and Florence Welch.
VERDICT: There is a danger when a designer goes all guns blazing on a theme that it will backfire and quickly feel repetitive. But Lagerfeld managed to avoid this by employing a couture-like attention to technique and fabric innovation in order to create endless interpretations of his deep sea world. We were just sorry that when we had to depart and re-emerge on dry land.