May 15, 2014

Chanel Resort 2015

It is clear that Chanel revels in the power of the spectacle. When reading reviews for Karl Lagerfeld's latest and greatest show, it is often the show's magnificent locale that occupies the opening paragraph; each season, people are whipped into a frenzy by the newest world that Lagerfeld has fashioned. Yet, as time passes, it seems that Chanel has become tied to the expectations for a presentation even grander than the last.

Indeed for some time now, I have felt that the designs themselves have suffered at the expense of this increasing focus on the spectacle. After all, as an online audience member, I am not inundated by the sets. It is my absence from these spaces that allows me to focus almost exclusively on the clothing. (And it is the clothing that most interests me!)

However, Lagerfeld's Resort 2015 show for Chanel caught me off guard. It is not quite fair of me, but I have cast aside many of his past shows, regarding them as more kitschy than classy - I tend to think of Chanel as synonymous with classy, imagining the iconic black 2.55 bag. It has taken me until now to understand that Lagerfeld just wants to have some fun with the brand; this is because Chanel Resort 2015 perfectly encompasses both classy elegance and Lagerfeld's inclinations toward playful design.

Here in Abu Dhabi, the latest offerings from Lagerfeld juxtapose Western and Eastern influences with modern silhouettes and colorful patterns and embellishments that feel distinctly vintage. Nothing is stuffy or overwhelmingly avant-garde. The use of color is particularly striking: the color schemes are unusual and even somewhat unexpected, such as in an ensemble of teal, orange, and white with dashes of green and purple. Yet they combine in artistic, exotic ways. The pairings are not messy; that is to say, they are not kitschy. Rather, the colorful patterns look as if they were from an elegant printed scarf from the priciest vintage shop in the neighborhood.

Despite the vintage vibe, the collection is not stuck in the past: embellishments, layering, and pattern mixing carry the prints into our modern age. Yet even those pieces that are decidedly less modern are charming, such as a navy floral print cardigan and a similarly printed light teal sweater.

Indeed the collection is tasteful and pleasing to the eye, but it is obvious that Lagerfeld also has his customer in mind. Not only do the aesthetics of the clothing and the locale complement each other well, but setting the Chanel show in Abu Dhabi is certainly a good way of reaching out to a new breed of young clientele; after all, customers of luxury fashion (particularly haute couture) can be increasingly found in the Far East.

Combine these many facets, and it is easy to see why this collection is a successful one.

Images from

Click here to view the collection in its entirety.

What did you think of Chanel's Resort 2015 show? Leave a comment!

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