Chanel Pre-Fall 2012 Collection
Welcome to the fabulous world of Chanel Pre-Fall 2012. The looks in this collection were packed to the brim with elegant tweeds embellished with stones and jewelry, faux dreadlocks, and flats.
Any Maharaja would be proud of the ornate use of bindi jewelry that covered the sixth chakra, ajna, at the Chanel show. The spectacular sparkling designs stole the breath from the onlookers dining (yes, dining) front row at the crystal decorated tables at the Grand Palais in Paris. If this jewelry was styled in any other way or worn around a neck or on a wrist it might be considered gaudy but the powerful models who wore this bling certainly transcended the likes of common day glitterati.
Winter white looked feminine and overtly ladylike on Chanel’s ad campaign model Saskia de Brauw (who surprisingly did not open the show), but her short dark hair allowed for a touch of masculinity to shine through the angelic outfit adorned with crystals. The tall white leather boots that Karl used went up above the knee and fit close to the legs like… leggings, however the tips of the toes were capped in black and against the bend of the instep was a much needed jeweled decal. Without the hint of design these boots would have been lost in the shuffle.
The length of the dresses and skirts was consistently over the knee and almost always done so with a fuller skirt with embellishments along the bottom. The instances when Lagerfeld designed a to the ankle sleeved dress that buttoned down the front, it looked a bit off. The lightweight leather bunched in interesting places and the high masculine shoulders made the ruffle neck and glittering buttons appear a bit out of place. The same material made the same mistakes in a cream sack of a mid calf jacket/dress. Let’s hope these looks don’t make it to the trend stories that will drive shoppers and second tier retailers.
Some of the other fabrics used in the show were silks, fine crepe wools, and the softest looking mohair sweater you can imagine! Some of the fabric was detailed with jewels, others were embroidered and beaded, and more still were cut out with eyelets. The beginning and ends of the show were ripe with luxury and embodied a powerful feminine presence while the middle of the collection became very blasé. This sounds like a joke but at one point a male model walked down in a zip up and what looked like sweat pants… definitely not something a Maharaja would wear, just in case you were wondering.
In terms of color Chanel was full of the usual creams, whites, and blacks but for Pre-Fall the pop color was hot pink, vivid tangerine, and brushed white gold. Red was a color of power that was used but seeing as how Pre-Fall collections are somewhat inspired by the season they are are actually showing in, Holiday season, this may have affected the colors and gilded looking fabrics as it often does.
Lastly, it is nice to see Karl expanding the men’s collection to include a few more looks but it has come to the point where Chanel should take the plunge and produce a complete menswear line instead of the 5% men’s 95% women’s ratio we have been seeing. That being said, expanding the men’s line now would be dangerous as the economy is in a bit of a downturn and the clothing Karl designs for men isn’t exactly a “pick off the shelf and go” type look.
It should also be noted that Chanel has incorporated some pleats in with the Pre-Fall 2012 collection so that trend won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.