Runway Report: Chanel SS17 Couture

Karl Lagerfeld is a master of creating extraordinarily immersive experiences around Chanel’s runway shows. In recent seasons, he has invited us to view his collections at a grocery store, an airport, a Parisian rue-turned-protest site, and–most politically–Havana, Cuba. Yesterday, the designer took a more contemplative approach to Chanel’s Spring 2017 couture show, transforming the Grand Palais into a hall of mirrors that resembled Coco Chanel’s former atelier and Chanel’s current flagship store on the Rue Cambon in Paris–the very place women go to be fitted for their haute couture ensembles.

The show began with Chanel’s iconic tweed power suits in pastel colors–the first in minty green, then sunny yellow, followed by bubblegum pink, and so on–all tailored to perfection and varying in silhouette. There were skirts with pleats, and ones in pencil-style; single and double-breasted jackets, some with broad shoulders and high necks, others with wide lapels. Some sleeves hit above the elbows, while others delicately grazed the wrists. Then, soft pastels gradually began to team with sparkles, at first splashed onto buttons, and creeping onto collars and cuffs, or artfully sewn into tweed.

From the buttoned-up looks with delicate shimmer came an interlude in the form of a pink and white lace beauty–tailored yet airy, with capped sleeves and girly scalloped edges. After that, the sparkles returned, this time emphatically making their mark on evening-friendly looks which alternated between edgy and form-fitting with an air of the ‘80s, to feminine ruffles and ever-stylish princess poufs. Feathers stepped on stage last, stealing the show by consuming sequined skirts and shoulders in wispy, dramatic bouffants of blush, white and gray. The magic of couture shined through the pure delicacy of Lagerfeld’s materials, and his ability to make even the most tailored pieces seem fluid.

About the Author

Val is a writer and editor born and based in New York City. She started her editorial career at Teen Vogue, then moved on to Vanity Fair and Travel+Leisure. She is currently the head of content at StyleKist, a new social commerce app that allows fashionistas to shop and make commissions from their photo and video feeds. You may follow her @diaryofval