Chanel's Pre-Fall 2012 collection surprised me on two counts:
- While this line is "India-inspired" (instant alarm bells, especially since Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India) it doesn't seem like the creepy cultural appropriation that typically results from this kind of idea. Of course, come 2012 real-time -- as opposed to fashion-time, which operates approximately six months in everyone else's future -- I fully expect to see a whole host of mildly-racist photoshoots in Vogue, Elle, etc. (If this sounds like cynicism, that's because it is. I'll be sure to get back to you in six months if the world of high-end magazine photography has managed to align itself with the cultural mores of the 21st century by then, but I doubt it.)
- Against all fashion-world logic, this show is actually more interesting than Chanel' Spring 2012 line, despite the fact that Pre-Fall isn't a "real" season.
The looks ranged from quite obviously India-inspired to classic Chanel designs such as the kind of fitted, boxy skirt-suits that tend to send me to sleep. There were some rather pretty ones this season, but I'm only posting one of them because you know what a skirt suit looks like already, come on:
|All catwalk photos from Style.com|
OK, I lied. Here's a second trad-Chanel suit -- one that's far less chic and military-inspired. Urgh. It looks like something Professor Umbridge would wear in a playful mood. By the way, those aren't fishnets -- they're thick tights with gold fishnet pattern, for those who want to wear gold fishnets with their bobbly suit and (why, though) hot-pink sweater, but don't want chilly knees.
Another contributing factor to model-warmth: the wraparound scarves.
Edited to add: A commenter informs me that this garment is based on something called a dhoti: "The way it is tied allows men to preserve their modesty with one length of material, while at the same time allowing for breathing space without the silliness of wearing a skirt. The way it is tied can change depending on the regional style, and on social class (more monies more dhoti to wrap on round)."
|I've totally seen this girl participating in a drum-circle in the Edinburgh Meadows.|
The hair and makeup definitely accentuate that in this case, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I'm actually rather a fan of the pile-of-dreadlocks hairstyle, and in conjunction with some of the outfits the combination of dreads and metal accessories gave it an almost Steampunk look.
Karl Lagerfeld is notoriously fat-phobic when it comes to his models, which I find rather surprising considering how many of his Chanel designs are suitable for non-model body types. Chanel designs, particularly suits, look good on older women and don't require the wearer to have a very narrow waist. Also, some of these outfits could be worn by a 90-year-old just as well as they could a woman in her 30s.
This next outfit would be absolutely perfect for the rich and middle-aged, ie Chanel's primary market:
There were 79 looks in all, far more than one expects from a Pre-Fall line. Although considerably more interesting than predicted, there were also a few obvious mistakes. I don't know what this pink dress thinks it's doing lurking amongst the rest of the designs in this show, but it does not belong.
|WTF is that? It looks like Primark beachwear crossed with a doily.|
Andrej Pejic that for a moment, I thought this model was him.