For Chanel Haute Couture SS19, Karl Lagerfeld transformed The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées into the extravagant garden of an 18th-century Mediterranean stately home. Models glided through the iconic architectural landmark in garments inspired by the uber-feminine silhouettes of the period, crafted with techniques that paid homage to the artisans and entrepreneurs of French luxury.
The collection reinterpreted classic 18th-century motifs, with a particular emphasis on flowers in a palette of monochrome and pastels. Voluminous skirts, balloon sleeves, peplum hems, bows and collars folded inside out evoked floral shapes, and hand-crafted embroidery created the illusion of scattered bouquets. Feathers and torn tulle dramatised these silhouettes, while leather and sequins added a modern edge to create what Lagerfeld described as “a serene, ideal, timeless collection, that’s absolutely now, with new shapes”.
Lace, intricate beading and hand-painted ceramic celebrated the frivolity of 18th-century style, as well as the skills of its craftsmen. Though permeated with history and tradition, the collection’s closing bridal look broke all its rules: an embroidered bathing suit, accessorised with a swimming hat and veil (obvs).
We’re not screaming, you’re screaming.