hen you see Chanel these days what you’re really
seeing is Karl Lagerfeld playing fast and loose
with the Chanel toy box. It’s all there, the elegant
lines, the neat little bows, the wide brimmed hats, yet it’s
been ‘Karled’ and therefore it’s Chanel that’s been
deconstructed, reconstructed, and put back again – in a
good way of course. We’re in no doubt Coco herself would
approve, as we’re sure will the masked ranks of Chanel fans
who await each season with baited breath for the latest twist
on the classic line.
There’s nothing in the Spring Summer 2013 collection that
will disappoint the devoted. There are the label’s signature
broad panels of black and white, which never fail to look
anything but chic and cocktail ready, reworked for the
modern multitasking woman. Classic stripes and nautical
cues – an absolute summer failsafe in any hot season
wardrobe and a guaranteed go-anywhere look – have been
re-imagined around a loose A-line or bolero shape, giving
the clothes themselves the look of a billowing sail.
Pearls, the classic Coco statement piece, have been un-
stringed and moved away from the throat to be scattered
lightly as embellishes on dresses and buttons. Scooped
necks and box jackets have been tweaked and teased and
made new. Skirts that used to skim the knee have travelled
upwards a little yet retain the ladylike elegance expected of
the woman that wears anything with the interlocking Cs
These clever touches are instantly Chanel but also classic
Karl, whose no doubt encyclopaedic knowledge of the label
flatters the wearer by acknowledging that they too
understand the game that’s being played. And let’s be
honest, when you arrive at an Embassy garden party
wearing Chanel, then you’ll want everyone else to know
that you’re wearing it too. The cues are here for all to see
and tick off. Karl’s been kind like that. There’s a reason he’s
been at the helm of this label for nearly three decades now:
he looks like he’s having far too much fun to stop.
1 8 4
Karl Lagerfeld