For SS17, the Chanel girls were fully immersed in a digital world. Walking through kilometres of cables, metallic racks and computer cabinets, the models were a chip in the system of Data Centre CHANEL, where cyborg helmets and a clinical silver setting was contrasted with Karl Lagerfeld’s exploration of intimate technology and thoughts on how futuristic doesn’t have to mean sterile and monochrome. In age where life is increasingly dematerialised, the internet has wormed its way into all aspects of life and it’s almost impossible to avoid computers, Chanel has put humans back at the centre of the digital world.
In contrast to how futuristic garments are normally considered to look, Chanel reworked classical feminine fabrics to create garments of grace and tenderness. Lingerie, including babydolls and negligees in silk and lace, made underwear over wear, with accordion pleated underslips and silky lace pyjama trousers making for luxurious daywear. The colour palette was soft too; there was silks, laces and crepe georgette in powder, pale pink, candy pink, blush and peach. Full skirts in cotton voile with large pleated camellias and tweed jackets with rounded shoulders, long sleeves and wide lapels made sure that soft elegance is truly modern.
Circuit board Chic
For a collection inspired by the humanity in technology, it isn’t surprising that a lot of details and silhouettes looked like they were taken from The Matrix. Sequins sparkled like electronic components and computer chips, touch fasteners replaced buttons and Chanel’s classic tweeds were weaved with rubber strands and vinyl stripes. Collars and cuffs were swathed in an embossed translucent glaze and silk dresses were completed with digitally-inspired motifs. There were also two robots in suits – perhaps a glimpse at Chanel’s customers 2000 years in the future?