You have to hand it to Karl Lagerfeld, he never does anything by halves. The theme for Chanel Spring 2013 was Alternative Energy. Models emerged through an archway of blue Solar Panels onto a grid runway by a forest of full size Wind Turbines in the Grand Palais in Paris. But Lagerfeld never stops with just props for a message. Every one of the massive 85 look Collection had some reference to Alternative Energy down to the recycled pair of blue jeans (red neckerchief and all) made into a dress. Indeed much of the fabric was made to look (if it wasn’t actually the product of) like it was made from recycled materials. Even the little green box-clutch looked looked like a recycled electrical panel. Most of the dresses and gowns reflected the grid pattern of the solar panels; simple in design, complicated in construction. One stunning dress, made entirely of blue crystal baguettes, even looked like a wearable solar panel. But the Karl touches were unmistakable, red leather half gloves with giant pearl buttons, white collars and cuffs, mixed media tweeds and sheer shirts. Remarkably, Lagerfeld manages to keep the Chanel Brand with Coco woven throughout. Masses of pearls were roped over every part of the gowns and body, or splashed across bodices and dresses. Coco’s tweeds and suits were there as well, but this time with the twist of 3/4 puffy sleeves or oversized and chunky. The huge oversized trend crept into jackets, coats, and dresses. Sheer fabrics were shorn and gathered on cuffs and hems to resemble feathers on pantsuits and dresses. Even the hats seemed to be made from recycled plastic discs. There was a touch of whimsy interjected in the line. One top, that had wind turbines covering the front, almost a political statement, the pattern of which was repeated under and over other sheer pieces. Several other dresses had applique pinwheels and flowers playfully scattered over them. And the buzz of the Show was the “hula hoop” like handbag made from PVC plastic pipes. Since it is impossible to predict the mind of Karl Lagerfeld, we don’t know if he believes in the Green Way of life or simply knows a good selling point when he finds one. But the thing we do know is that next spring we will wear The Wind.
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Photos by: Yannis Vlamos