The Silhouette behind the Embellishment at Chanel

The Silhouette behind the Embellishment at Chanel

Chanel, AW12, Paris.

With so many looks, garments, different fabrics and embellishments involved in a Chanel show, it often takes a second look to fully digest the entire collection.

As a fashion behemoth, a Chanel collection is normally made up of many mini collections and stories under the one umbrella concept, catering to many different versions of the “Chanel” customer. With the oversized crystal background as a hint of the theme, there were many references in the embellishments to crystals whether in the use of actual crystals (clustered on buttons, bags, belts, neckpieces) or in the multi faceted cuts made to some garments.

With so much going on in the Chanel repertoire it is sometimes most interesting to go back to what would have occurred at the cutting table, right back at a pure pattern stage and imagine the garments cut purely out of calico. Thought the theme of a Chanel collection may change from season to season, there is usually an interesting blend of silhouettes between very traditional western tailoring (with a base of jackets, trousers, shirts and skirts) to perhaps more deconstructed shapes such as ideas we would usually expect to see at a Comme des Garcons or Junya Watanabe show. It is these unusual silhouettes, from a blend of reference points, that are played with at Chanel and that are the substance behind all of the glittering embellishment.

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