14 December 2015

Chanel Metiers D'Art - Roman Holiday Pre Fall 2016

After recent jaunts to Seoul, Dallas and Salzburg, the twelfth Metiers d'Art show landed in Rome, and the fashion pack wondered why it had taken Mr Lagerfeld so long. His own love affair with the Italian city started over fifty years ago when he first started designing for Fendi and other Italian labels. The annual collection honouring the craftsmanship of the workshops that provide the stunning embellishments for ready to wear and haute couture shows is now a major fixture in the Chanel calendar. The venue? The legendary Cinecitta film complex, where the Fellini's iconic La Dolce Vita was filmed, amongst other Italian classics by the likes of Rossellini and Zeffirelli. The set - Rome reimagined in Parisian style; models emerged out of a metro stop and strutted around monochrome streets reminiscent of the great film sets that were built here - there was a grocery stall, a typical cafe and of course a cinema, showing Karl's recent short film with both Kristen Stewart and Geraldine Chaplin playing Madame Chanel herself. 



It's so easy to talk about so many other things apart from the clothes when it comes to Chanel. After historical dress in Salzburg and a colour explosion in Seoul, it was interesting to see the collection take a much more sultry, sexy direction. Patterned fishnet tights were paired with most looks, which commenced with heavily checked tweed jackets over mini dresses slung casually over the shoulders (these girls were too cool for sleeves). There was plenty of leather, PVC and latex which added to the whole siren vibe. Hair was backcombed reminiscent of Bardot with some heavy fringe action, serious eyeliner flicks added drama, shoes stayed classic with the familiar two tone heels, with pearl adorned sandals as a cool contrast.  Tweed mini capes and coats tied around the waist to give a more casual twist to the tweed suit also screamed chic. I adored the film camera bag (even more than the menu and plate bags from the last ready to wear collection). Hooped earrings and belt buckles on tightly cinched in waists perfectly accessorised the look, alongside snakeskin bags and bling cuffs. 



Then came a ream of beautifully embellished dresses, showcasing the talents of the Metiers d'Art partner network - Michel and Massaro, Desires, Lesage and Lemaire to name but a few. The beading, feathering and fabrics were breathtaking, with a scalloped skirt being particularly memorable, as well as the monochrome cut-out jacket with ruffled cuffs, neckline and waist worn by Binx Walton (she also wore an amazingly detailed floor length coat later on). There was also an interesting white caped top paired with a black PVC skirt - simplicity being as effective as elaborate. The translucent black chiffon trouser suit, matching quilted tops and skirts trimmed with lace and splashes of crimson also offered new takes on classic Chanel ideas. Other details such as lace opera gloves, the iconic double C logo incorporated into knitted leggings and sweaters, stacked bracelets over long sleeves, black ribbon belts and almost tribal beaded necklaces over sweaters were nods to the past and the future (just thinking about how skilled the craftspeople are was perplexing). There was also a zigzag tweed, featuring coins as buttons and bows at the neck and more of that lattice like Byzantine jewellery. 



The slip dress showed no sign of decreasing in popularity; one of the sexiest looks was a lace trimmed black slip dress paired with beautifully embroidered lace opera gloves. I was also a big fan of the pleated oyster coloured dress overlaid with one of those elaborate necklaces covering the chest. The the embellished cream and blue dress complete with statement Karl white starched collar and black tie had a hint of self deprecation. The fantastic salmon round shouldered pink caped creation had a slight hint of surrealism about it, before Signor Karl emerged, holding the hand of his godson dressed like the kid out of Cinema Paradiso and surrounded by capped male models. Gabrielle Chanel designed for 60s Italian beauties, Karl completely encapsulated the essence of the era, with his typical modern  flourish. Quel triomphe! 

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