Chanel Spring 2013 collection. “Too much may not be enough,”Karl Lagerfeld is quoted as saying, when asked about inspiration and motivation when designing a collection. Now it seems,“Too many visions may be way too much…”
When Fashion travels back in time and onward to Utopia... Lagerfeld’s inspiration for this collection: A romantic dream, a vision of the late 1800s, the romantic and dark time... dark fabrics, boxy shapes, exaggerated proportions.
Then, a voyage to a distant Utopian Future... bright metallic Looks with Tweed in modern weaves. The models appear in an enchanted forest. All this, expressed in a single collection, may be a voyage too far ...
This collection is more typical of Lagerfeld, he shows us his dream, inspired by the late 19th Century.
The shapes, the colors, the lines, the design are all interpretations of one of his favorite theme. He likes to imagine himself a figure in a glorified Romantic time, lost in nature. Very Shakespearean. Have a dream, (an altered state), be surrounded by fantastic creatures, go out to Nature, all disjointedness is resolved, return joyful and triumphant.
How relevant is such a vision and design language to our time?
photo credit: Chanel Spring 2013 collection
Do women of the 21st Century have a desire to identify with designs reminiscent of the late 19th Century…? Do we want to look like exotic birds, almost extinct exotic birds?
Some Looks appear to be drab creatures clothed in dark creations with odd unflattering proportions, appearing like visitors from a distant Past. This is a Look that Karl Lagerfeld has shown before, it seems to be swirling in his mind, he has shown similar designs in some of the past Fall collections. It appears, this dream seems to linger, even haunt him…
Society had a different value system then, women had to live by much more rigid rules, with little room for expression of personal style. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld is only expressing a subliminal ideal of beauty of such an age, not a throw back to the restrictive society structure in which women existed.
However, do we want to reflect on such a past in this collection?
This collection seems to have two messages. A message from the Past, and a message from the Future.
On the Utopia Future side, we see modern Tweed suits and coats, with wrap details around the shoulders, fabrics and leather in silver metallic colors, long Overknee boots in silver metallic leather. This Look made me think of Barbarella, a Utopian Futuresque Look. I like the feeling of this Look, it made me connect with the idea of visitors from a distant Future. I can see myself wearing such a tweed coat with these silver boots. Fantastic!
The stage seems to be a dream scape, we see models strutting in an enchanted forest, with bird tail plume fascinators over their face and eyes with dramatic overdrawn make up, almost being birdlike themselves. Exotic almost extinct creatures.
How do we connect with and take inspiration from this collection?
I will take inspiration with the Utopian Future side, the metallic colors, Utopia meets the Feminine, and make it part of Now, leaving the dark creations reminiscent of a distant Past in Karl Lagerfeld’s dream.
Hopefully his next dream will be a “Fantasia Felice” , a “Happy Dream”, that he may be inspired to create a Spring 2014 collection full of lighthearted whimsical designs, a Look that inspires us to wear with joy.
Resort Fashion by Chanel, is always an entertaining performance.
How can we be inspired for our Looks? How can it deliver what we want to wear today? That is a question for another time, and another post.
photo credit: all photos from the Chanel Spring 2013 collection
purchase information: www.chanel.com