Show report: Chanel A/W’12

Getting a first look at Karl Lagerfeld’s ever more ornate sets for the Chanel shows that he holds at the vast Grand Palais has recently become one of the highlights of Paris

Getting a first look at Karl Lagerfeld’s ever more ornate sets for the Chanel shows that he holds at the vast Grand Palais has recently become one of the highlights of Paris.

What greeted guests, including Katy Perry, today was a futuristic crystal catwalk punctuated with clusters of huge shards exploding up from the floor. Was Karl in apocalyptic mood once more – he showed against the backdrop of bleak scorched earth this time last year?

This time round his space-age setting looked more like a landscape from Superman’s home planet Krypton. And Super Karl was on sparkling form with a collection that packed in plenty of hits – inspired by the jewel colours of minerals.
 
Oversized coats came thick and fast – some with molding on the sleeves that picked up on the geometry of the crystals on the catwalk – others were lush with feather embroidered collars or speckled with chunky jewels. Coloured stones appeared everywhere from belts and cuffs to the slick of crystals that adorned the models’ brows.
 
Lagerfeld gave a nod to many of the season’s now established trends from layering – tunics or skirts were worn on top of skinny trousers or velvet leggings – to dense embellishment and eccentric combinations such as the light chiffon blouses that came layered over sequinned ballerina skirts and leggings.

There were colourful statement knits and the classic Chanel tweed suit came in jewel colours like amethyst and jade. It was a colourful and eclectic show and Lagerfeld even broke into colour himself, taking his bow in a very au courant purple frock coat.

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