Chanel Fall 2012 Review


Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Chanel Fall 2012 runway.

SHOW: Chanel (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Sam McKnight

MAKE-UP: Peter Philips

ACCESSORIES: Crystal-heel shoe-boots, bags strapped to the hand or onto the back, Lesage-embroidered crystal eyebrows

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: A gem of a collection from Karl Lagerfeld. Solid as a rock.

A Chanel show always feels, to a degree, like finding buried treasure. Last season we dove to the bottom of the ocean to come up with the goods; this time, it was about burrowing deep into the earth with Karl Lagerfeld by our side to unearth the hidden gems of Chanel Fall 2012.

'Gems' wasn't intended as a pun, but given that they were the inspiration behind Karl Lagerfeld's latest revival and re-examination of the Chanel tradition, it feels a little nudge-nudge wink-wink. There were a few moments like that on the runway too, seeing exactly how Lagerfeld had woven touches of his precious (and semi-precious) inspiration into each and every look. Some coats had angular panels seamed into chest or sleeves like rock formations or intricately cut stones, others were given a brilliant wash of color lifted from jewels—amethyst, turquoise, citrine or moonstone, flashing across synthetic fabrics with a glossy sheen. Details told the story—you got the idea of this show from the crystal-encrusted eyebrows, hand-embroidered by Lesage for each of the models, and the glittering Perspex crystals forming heels on the high ankle-boots.

As with more than a few Chanel shows, the mountain of fashion sometimes threatened to overwhelm the viewer. It was a rock-slide when the eveningwear began to march out, glittering with iridescent sequins and Lurex threads, each outfit a dazzling rainbow of refraction. All well and good for red carpet round-ups. For the rest of us, Lagerfeld's ideas about roomy coats and cropped, slim-line pants felt much more relevant. And of course every girl will want her own pair of those Cinderella crystal slippers.