Chanel Haute Couture Spring Summer 2014: A Fanciful Future

21 January 2014 by

Karl Lagerfeld installed an ultra-modern reflective set into the monolithic interior of Paris's Grand Palais for the Chanel haute couture show this morning. It was a sign of dynamic things to come. Jewelled boucle wool trainers as worn with every look, anyone? Yes please. And how about crystal encrusted elbow and knee pads and even a bum bag to match?

Of course, however sporty they may be, these high end flights of fancy are never likely to make it to the gym. Instead they conveyed a message of vibrancy and optimism that befits the status of the world's greatest couturier and France's most famous and successful brand.

The clothes themselves were just as accomplished as might be expected. Chanel boasts the largest ateliers in Paris and, over the past decade, has gathered many revered specialists in everything from embroidery to feathers into its fold. And it shows.

There was a light and youthful touch at play this season aimed squarely at a new generation of couture customer that is currently boosting sales across the board. She will look as beautiful in bias cut feather light gowns and column dresses embellished with tiny jewels, opalescent sequins and pale plumes as she will in organza tunic - complete with pockets - and skinny trouser combinations, the boxy shapes of which recalled Sixties Futurism.

The iconic Chanel suit came in delicate shades of white, off white, rose and violet: a cropped top with moulded sleeves was paired with a short, sharp A-line skirt. No baring of the midriff will be required, however. Jewelled bodies emphasised slender torsos and ensured modesty was intact.

As for the bride who traditionally closes the haute couture presentation: that honour fell to Cara Delevingne who was pretty as the proverbial picture in her gown.

While the economy remains unstable, the super-wealthy woman who invests in haute couture is undeterred by all accounts. ''Couture clients are not that affected by the economic situation,' Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel's president of fashion, told Women's Wear Daily last week, adding that there is growing interest in this, fashion's most rarefied craft form. 'It's about understanding what's behind the dress,' Pavlovsky said.

The skills of the petites mains who staff the Chanel ateliers are second to none and, with that in mind, what's behind these dresses in particular is nothing short of magical.


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