Revoking an era of delicate pearly works and military silhouettes, Chanel's new Metiers d'Art collection is dramatic
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: December 16, 2014
Chanel jackets have mostly always had those padded shoulders, which give a high-borne, military appearance, albeit in a variety of colours and fabrics. It comes as no surprise then that Karl Lagerfeld should be inspired by the Tyrolean costumes of Austria.
The recently showcased Chanel Metiers d’Art – Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 collection was another enchanting one in a series of Chanel collections that are inspired by new locations and cultures every year. And that was quite evident when we saw the magical short film ‘Reincarnation’, starring Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne and Geraldine Chaplin. The film even shows the moment where Mademoiselle Chanel gets inspired to create the feminine pantsuit that revolutionized fashion forever.
Taking roots from the country that gave us Swarovski, the stage was set at Schloss Leopoldskron, an 18th Century Austrian castle acclaimed for its romantic architecture and view of lake Leopoldskroner Weiher. Inside, however, Mr Lagerfeld enhanced that dramatic feeling with marble fireplaces filled with lit candles, tables piled with sugary temptations in a kingly manner, and elaborate 18th century furniture.
The fashions worn by Austrians in an early era have always been inspired by Parisian touches. The military regalia of noblemen have been complemented with frilly dresses, lace, flowers and pearls in women. And therefore, jackets and coats have been of particular interest in the Paris-Salzburg’s daytime wear, for both men and women. A Chanel ivory tweed jacket with four pockets is teamed with wool trousers showing military-style side-stripe. A cape-jacket filled with sequin flowers and leaves shows the craftsmanship Chanel is capable of.
The cocktail and evening attire is delicate and feminine, much in the style of Austrian noble women. A blouse embroidered with butterflies is teamed with a feathered mini skirt. A long tapered cape in the colours of peacock feathers adds glamour. A pinafore-style dress is made of densely embroidered black satin ribbons. Leather bodice dresses, leather jackets and pleated leather skirts add seductive sheen to the collection.
Details have all the allure and give the collection that Austrian feel. Again adding that military touch, blouses are strict with high, ruff-like collars. Matching leggings have embroidery on them. Intricate embellishment consists of leather trim, careful feather work and metal embroidery occasionally flaunting a modern alpine theme.
The colour palette is quite iconic and comfortable with Chanel traditions as creayions come and go in shades of white, red, navy, black - mixed with alpine hues like dove grey and forest green. Fabrics vary from tweed, felt, leather and cashmere to satin, chiffon, taffeta and lace.
The romanticism portrayed by the accessories is quite stunning. Royal looking knotted pearl necklaces are omnipresent and diamante oval-shaped buckles appear on black satin chokers. Chanel bags are embroidered with alpine style flowers and have gunmetal chains. Hats have feather art on them while boots are another artistic feature in the collection with gold buttons and flowers at times.
Design, culture and fashion melding into one, you can always depend on Chanel for coming out with something forgotten, something spectacular that catches the eye and becomes a piece of art.