“Fashion is part of the events of our time,” declared Karl Lagerfeld about the Zen-like, eco-conscious serenity of the Chanel Haute Couture collection in the Grand Palais. Lush green lawns of a minimalistic garden, water lily ponds, a slatted wood pavilion, and plenty of space was under stimulated blue skies.
Wood chips were used as beading, palettes, and 3-D frills among techniques involving recycled paper and woven yarn.
A case could be built for haute couture being the most non-enviromentally impactful branch of clothing production. It’s handmade, take infinite hours of work, and potentially lasts a lifetime. As the show unfolded, it became a meditation of the timeless validity of Chanel’s principles: pale boucle suits, attenuated in the skirt, puffed in the sleeve, and with a set-away collars; a movement of classic navy and white.
The evening soared from the moment Lagerfeld started to introduce flecks of gold in the suiting. An incredible jacket and skirt made completely of gold and black geometric palettes. It would take a much closer look to understand the technical difficulty and degree of ecological soundness embedded in these clothes. It may be that some won’t be swayed one way or another by the trouble Chanel took so source some of their materials.