VIDEO: Watch the Chanel Couture show

08 July 2009

After a quick glass of fizz on a Parisian terrace, it was round the corner for the Chanel couture show last night. Another vast space. And Karl always makes full use of the domed atrium (a whopping 45m/150 feet high). Several memorable Chanel fashion moments have happened here (remember the reconstruction of Rue Cambon? The full-sized carousel?). This season the models came out of massive perfume bottles while the audience sat in plush black suede sofas… very lounge-y, very Regines, very 1970s nightclub (the Grand Palais atrium has got to be the biggest disco ball in the world).

The hair was very Leonard of Mayfair: hairpieces sculpted into stiff curls and swirls, studded with pearls and camellias. It harked back to a time in the 1970s when, before a big night out, the ladies left their hair (wigs and pieces) in the hair salon and went out to lunch while it was being done. There was a lot of long/short. A line of tailcoats over long slim skirts, shift dresses that were short in the front with floor-skimming trains; little black organza dresses, scooped up in front and low at the back. My favourites were a mini series of flesh-coloured draped chiffon dresses sprinkled with sparkly sequins. Lace tights (!) and liquid eyeliner finished the look, which was, I am so glad to say, much more about a womanly glamour than the girly ideal that has got most of the catwalk attention for the last 10 years.

- Paula Reed


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