Can I just say, I have always loved Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, and the Pre-Fall 2011/12 was no exception. Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show, entitled Paris-Bombay, was no less than spectacular. The show was an annual salute to the craftsmen who make Chanel - well, Chanel: Desrues, Goossens, Guilllet, Montex, and the recently passed embroiderer Francois Lesage. Held at the Grand Palais, the show had an unexpected and very inspired theme, may I say (since they’ve done Paris-London, Paris-Shanghai, and Paris-Byzance). Guests were seated at a lavishly ornamented banquet set whilst being served towers of refreshments that gives one the sense of grandiose luxury.
The show was a depiction of what Indian princes and princesses looked like if Karl Lagerfeld dressed them, or what Coco Chanel would look if she came from India. A mixture of the elegance, ease, and classiness of Chanel and the exotic, exciting culture of India. Now enough of the compliments, let’s get to the pros and cons of the details.
What I love:
Buttons and jewelry courtesy of Desrues, it captures the essence of both Chanel and India. The pearl strands on necklines, bangles, nose rings, ankle bracelets and most importantly, the bindi were jewelry details that pleases the eye as it dances through images of the clothes.
Another item is the bag; the modest-sized quilted purse dangling from a beautifully embroidered and bejeweled strap that resembled those of a guitar’s.
Dreadlocks twisted into updos with bejeweled headpieces, who would’ve thought? Once again a refreshing idea from Mr. Lagerfeld. Even though hairdos vary between models, one thing remains constant: the jet black heavy eyeliner that encircles the models’ eyes, with peachy blush and neutral lips to complete the look.
I find the shoes very exciting. From the thigh-high boots that looked like leggings to the shimmering metallic flat ankle boots to the embellished sandals. My heart holds a soft spot for the ankle boots. They’re a subtle attention grabber, complementing the capri pants spotted here and there throughout the collection.
The silhouettes of the clothes takes inspiration from the past: the culture and heritage of India, but then paints a picture of the future: an urban society ready to take on the modern world. The classic minimalistic approach of Chanel combined with the draperies in some of the skirts and pants. One favorite look of mine was a white floor-length dress with a high collar and sari-like draping (picture above).
The Fact that Karl Has Never Gone to India
“It’s much more inspiring not to go to places than to go,” said Lagerfeld.
What I don’t love:
The Color Palette
Even though I am a sucker for the whites, blacks, golds, and the other colors featured in the collection, I must say that the color scheme is somewhat limited. What happened to the reds and oranges? From the deep reds, to the cayenne oranges and terracottas. The rich earthy greens and yellows are also scarce in the collection. India has one of the richest and most luxurious-looking color palette, so I regretted not seeing most of those colors in the collection.
The Drapings on Pants
Don’t get me wrong. I love how they are a nod the the Indian draping, I’m just not a fan of harem pants, so I am biased.
The above pictures are some of my favorite looks from the show. Click the source for the whole collection and judge for yourself! Despite the plus and minuses, The clothes from Paris-Bombay is worth drooling over, and presented in a dazzling show worthy of a standing ovation. If I was at the Grand Palais to watch in person, I would flip.
all images courtesy of Vogue.com