Monarch Style: Inside Chanel’s Spring-Summer 2017 Collection
Karl Lagerfeld, successful head designer for Chanel, introduced his newest designs for the 2017 Spring-Summer Haute Couture collection. The different “sets” within the collection were categorized by style and heavily inspired by the brand’s iconic founder, Coco Chanel. They represent the sophisticated yet girlish side of women’s fashion. The models showcased various fits and styles in blush pinks, sage greens, whites, greys and lavenders.
Lagerfeld carries on the iconic legacy that Chanel left. Every design within the 2017 haute couture collection circulated around emphasizing the feminine features of women, as Chanel did. The Mirrored Set, Belts, Skirtsuits, Pussy-Bow Blouses, Feathers and the Bride were presented in the hall of mirrors in Paris.
The runway was constructed with reflective tiling and towering mirrors topped with calla lilies, appropriate for the first collection, the Mirrored Set. It was inspired by the mirrored staircase within Coco Chanel’s apartment. The set included flounces of sequins and feathers with a delicate color pallet of pastel shades. With formal A-line fits, this set circulated around classic special occasion wear.
The Belts set heavily represents a large part of Chanel’s designs. Nearly every ensemble in the 2017 collection was belted, as it emphasizes the delicate feminine waistline. This set also introduced various pant suits, evening gowns, ruffled frocks and silk midi dresses that were all completed with a thick solid colored belt.
The Skirtsuits set also hinted at Chanel’s history – Coco Chanel was famously known for posh professional attire. The intricate woven tweeds had a classic and appropriate style fit. The tailored hem fell just above the knee, as the high neckline was decorated with a structured lapel or a black ribbon tied into a bow. Chanel specializes in the alluring appeal of an appropriate suit.
The Pussy-Bow Blouses set was unique not only in design, but in meaning. The title of the set hints at a peaceful protest to advocate women’s rights. Lagerfeld has been known to convey political messages through his designs and collections, but the dramatic plunging necklines and art deco cuts in this set boldly expressed a confidence in an un-subtle protest.
The Feathers section was the last full set to be shown. This collection featured formal evening wear, covering the silhouetted fit with silver sequins. They were complemented by airy white or pink feathers that guarded the hem, shoulders or bodice. The simple modern gowns reflected off of the mirrored surroundings, depicting an angelic halo-like appeal.
The Bride set featured just one design worn by Lily-Rose Depp, delicately walking the runway as the frills bounced around her. The baby pink gown with hundreds of ruffled tiers, full sleeves, tight buttoned bodice and flowing train of ruffles captivated the audience. The undoubtedly ladylike and extravagant gown perfectly represents what Chanel advocates—embracing the power of feminine attributes.
What can we learn from Lagerfeld’s haute couture designs? It is entirely possible to dress both appealing and appropriate. Chanel even made a skirt suit look sexy! A pastel palette with ladylike fits is all you need to make a statement. Lagerfeld’s designs represent the power in realizing feminine qualities, gender and the ability to rightfully advocate these things.
“Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women,” Chanel once said.
Even several decades ago, Chanel designers advocated for empowering women and valuing the feminine worth. Fashion has a way of influencing greatness, even in a stylish suit.