Chanel Fall 2012 show, Grand Palais, Paris
The clear glass sand crunch under my feet and my head jolts down to see I’ve passed through the gates (of fashion security, that is) and stepped into the legendary show venue of Chanel. My eyes are drawn up to marvel at the majestic copper-green cage of the Grand Palais, then slide down along the watery purple gradient walls. At the floor a maze of mineral stalagmites create an ambience of hidden power and cryptic weakness; even the white-painted seats look like crystalline overgrowth. Fortress of Solitude? Perhaps, but the fervid show-goer traffic outside seems to disagree, surely Superman would’ve ensured it better hidden. The stage slowly drains of organic writhing as the audience settle in their hand-labelled seats, and just before the music there is an eerie moment of calm.
The collection trickles out, jewel-encrusted eyebrows and slick ponytails bobbing atop rocky textures – bouclé and heavy wool coats, layered in the most ‘un-Chanel’ like manner (if such manner even exist anymore, as Karl systematically breaks all boundaries each season) one that rewrites Paris street fashion when it involves bare legs. Crystal encrusted sleeves finish a scratchy graphite bouclé jacket, layered on petrol-slick gathered chiffon… and little boy bags, some painted to resemble guts of agate stones. The shoes too are super-natural, half boot-half mary janes, with transparent stalagmites for heels. Chanel is magic, that has been an undeniable fact since Coco herself sat at the mirrored steps on 31 Rue Cambon and orchestrated her collections, but to be present at a show has truly been a taste of the sorcery behind the designs and philosophy.
Thank you Sarah for being so accommodating even at such late notice.