01 October 2013 by

Chanel Spring Summer 2014 Show Report: Art Attack

In a season where references to fine art have been seen in fashion everywhere from Prada to Céline, leave it to Chanel, the world's wealthiest and most powerful fashion house, to flex its unrivalled muscle and drive the message home.

The walls of the entire Grand Palais had been painted optic white for the occasion and hung with monumental paintings all conceived by Karl Lagerfeld, the house's magical creative director.

There was a series of black canvasses daubed with primary coloured brush strokes and Chanel's iconic numbers - 5, 19, 22, 31 - the legendary Rue Cambon studio door stamped with the words MADAMOISELLE PRIVE as it still is today and the loveliest camellias, famously the house's namesake's favourite flower.

'It's just superficial. I'm a very superficial person,' Lagerfeld said post-show, throwing a customary curve ball into the mix.

This collection was anything but. Instead, with a certain modesty and complete grace, the Chanel suit - in raspberry and cornflower - the little black dress - with a panel of lace at the waistband and sweet bouncing skirt - and colour card silks in more than a hundred blithe shades made for the loveliest viewing.

Models, with equally vivid colour painted around their eyes, carried a new spin on the quilted 2.55 bag in metallic leather and with a Lucite handle and wore pearls the size of golf balls around their necks mimicking headphones. On their feet were two tone sock shoes with a schoolgirl rib, a witty and pretty twist.

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing of all about this stand out show was the fact that, despite the most elaborate workmanship and a look that might not unreasonably be described as maximal for this particular name, there was lightness throughout. These were clothes that will be coveted by women of all ages as a result.

It's small wonder that Lagerfeld walked the entire length of the runway when he came out to take his bows. He had every reason to be proud.

Watch the full show below...


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