Kaiser Karl takes us back to the future
He might have been around since faxes were a new-fangled invention but Karl Lagerfeld has no time for nostalgia. He’s famously bored by ‘the past’ and is much more interested in the future – he was one of the first to own a custom-made gold Apple Watch and his iPod collection is in the hundreds. So today’s Chanel show should come as no surprise – in a love letter to Silicon Valley, he created a Chanel Data Center (or Centre, English fashion fans) to showcase SS17. And boy, was it a brave new world. In fact, Google are probably Googling it right now for office-space inspiration.
Paris’ Grand Palais was transformed into a shiny steel motherboard – models walked out amongst banks of machines complete with tangles of bright primary-coloured wires. The show was opened by two robots (aka girls in white Stormtrooper helmets). Is this where the fashion show is heading? Seriously, we know models can be high-maintenance but do they really deserve to be replaced by AI? Eek. Better gaze on the beautiful, human faces of Gigi, Edie et al while we still can.
As is often the way at Chanel, spectacular set + new but wearable takes on house classics = crowd-pleasing all round. No glitches in Karl’s code. Here’s all the essential data on the future of fashion (well, for next season anyway)…
It’s Back To The Future
The set might have been cutting-edge, but the styling had a distinctly old-skool air. The girls’ side ponytails and baseball caps were early hip-hop vid heaven and LL Cool J would have marvelled at some of the chunky chains and giant sparkle-encrusted medallion versions of classic Chanel motifs like camellias swinging round their necks. The show soundtrack? A hypnotic, suitably beepy remix of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’.
Skirt Suits Are Go
They’ve been endlessly reinvented, but Karl managed to give Coco’s classic tweed two-piece suit yet another totally fresh new look for spring. Featuring split A-line skirts and jackets with techy-looking tab fastenings, some of the chicest had piped edges in a contrasting colour or sky-blue denim.
Lingerie Is For Layering
Underwear has been everywhere on the SS17 catwalks, and here it added a delicious flash of femininity to all the tweed and denim – delicate pale pink lace slips peeped out from underneath split skirts, sheer chiffon camisoles were layered underneath open blouses and jackets, and a particularly divine pink and purple tweed bomber jacket was lightened up with a sheer lace-panelled pencil skirt.
Bags Can Talk
A little bit lonely on the daily commute? Can’t deal with the chat whilst waiting for your cappuccino? Don’t worry, your bag can provide the perfect solution. Karl’s new roboto arm candy (Insta style stars, have you ordered yours yet?) flash up personalised messages in neon lights. Who needs human companionship anyway?
Digital Prints Are Brighter Than Ever
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The digital print has been in hiding since the fashion world OD’d on dazzling computer-generated patterns (kicked off by one Mary Katrantzou) a few years ago. But they’re clearly due a comeback, according to Karl. Digital might refer to the method of printing, but these prints were digital in all senses. Inspired by lasers and flashing computer lights, this is what a Jean Michel Jarre’s light show would look like – as a dress.
The frow was quite French
OK, there was Usher (wearing a gold grill, tweed boots and a jacket with ‘Chanel’ spelt out in brooches, no less) and there was Courtney Love. But aside from these two, the A-list were very much along the chic Parisienne lines. Sitting front and centre, Lily Rose Depp is fast becoming a Chanel-lover on the scale of maman Vanessa Paradis, and Karl’s other favourite French muses Ines de la Fressange and Caroline de Maigret were also out in force.