March 9th, 2012
By Elisabeth Quin
in show-insider. (Last updated: March 10th, 2013)

FALL-WINTER 2012/13 READY-TO-WEAR
BY ELISABETH QUIN

A crystal clear favorite. Easy yet impossible to resist given the spectacular décor laid on to stage the collection at Grand Palais. From an immaculate floor, glittering like sugar or snow, sprouted a forest of gigantic crystals in dark purple, white, translucent and grey-tinged hues. Honoring the house’s jewelry-making heritage, this silent, alien landscape emerged as an oversized mineral fantasy world, as enchanting as Chanel’s attention to detail and pointed playfulness. After all, crystals are rock hard at heart.

Crystal is the emblem of the collection, magnanimously adorning torque necklaces, coat lapels, dry handle tweed dresses, magnificent makeup by Peter Philips – and embroidered eyebrows by Lesage. Crystal emerges as a mysterious mass rendered almost magical by its luminosity. In this mass of neatly-arranged atoms, the atom motif is repeated in a regular pattern, with the smallest element reproduced to form the lattice structure, the rock hard atomic mass.
The Chanel silhouette for this fall delivers generously on zest, spirit and style. Undersized heads and slicked-back hair are offset by asymmetric faded leather sandals, towering crystal-studded Plexiglas heels, figure-hugging pants and glamorous leggings that cling like a second skin for added allure.

This brand of allure comes armed with myriad methods of seduction: streetwear is transfigured by embroidery and the skilful cut of tweed parkas; femininity conquers all. Layering emerges as the guiding philosophy of the collection. Flared skirts are paired with ultra-refined buttoned pants and tweed jackets. This trio is transformed by sumptuous short coats worn over sleek dry handle tweed dresses, moss-green statement leggings, an amethyst jacket, and a bias-buttoned skirt, or a dramatically casual ensemble of pants, dress and cropped jacket in taupe laminated lace.

The hood is the accessory of the moment: Omnipresent yet playful in oversized luxuriance or embroidered with tiny crystals. The hood communicates a modern-day femininity that moves to the beat of life on the street, for the Chanel girl permanently plugged in to the complex and hectic age she inhabits.
Traditionally a trapping of children, monks and rappers, the hood conceals the face while flattering the features, keeping it safe from harm...
Garlands of feathers in understated fall tones festoon dainty collars, the shoulders of a coat and a fully embroidered jacket.

Magnificent sweeping tweed coats belted at the back are modeled in trademark Chanel casual style: why shouldn’t hands stay in their pockets?
Amethyst and emerald jeans streaked with vibrant stitching add to an irresistible mishmash of tweed pants bedecked in grey and white, a chunky chain knit sweater, and an outrageous mosaic print cheche. A winter maiden suddenly manifests in a simple sheer black dress, an anthracite-toned cheche wound around her neck in an ethereal poetic vision.

Majestic jewelry pervades the collection, attesting to the power of the mineral in osmosis with the feminine: overlapping of crystal-studded metal cuffs, bib necklaces speckled with turquoise and stormy-hued gems, and 1970s-inspired crystal-spangled geometric necklaces.

Backstage photos by Benoît Peverelli