This season, the Grand Palais becomes the vast Mediterranean Garden of a beautiful, big house. A pool of water is surrounded by trees and Southern plant species in a harmony of neat lines. Pathways are almost “à la française”, like 18th century gardens. Indeed, it’s this period, his favourite, that has inspired Karl Lagerfeld, and in particular the talents of the marchands-merciers and the savoir-faire of the artisans of French luxury. Among the artistic themes of that century, flowers play an important role. Now, they are at the heart of CHANEL’s Spring-Summer 2019 Haute Couture collection, embroidered, painted, in lace, in feathers, in resin and also in ceramic, they appear even as hair jewels.
The dresses, reversed collars give the impression of a bolero. Here the braiding highlights the hyper graphic structure of the silhouette. The reversed pleat reappears on the bust and the hem of the dresses with big bell skirts in matt satin: pulled to the waist, opening like petals at the front or over the hips, they are lined with a second colour or with floral seedlings. The ateliers reveal here the treasures resulting from such patience and savoir-faire: on these dresses, every horizontal blind tuck is completed by hand, taking up to 350 hours of work. On one organza dress embroidered with flowers made from feathers, the organ pleats that animate the ruffles are gathered thread by thread. The smocked lozenges of a silk blouse are sewn by hand and held in place by 650 beads. A black leather dress cut in spirals is aerated by ladder lace. An entirely sequinned white suit embroidered with patterns inspired by the porcelain of the Manufacture de Vincennes is a veritable work of art. An organza dress with a bolero effect is embroidered with real flowers immortalised in resin. Finally, a long green sequinned dress is embroidered with hand-painted ceramic flowers.
The bride breaks all the rules. Beneath a silver sequinned white veil, she steps out in an embroidered bathing suit and swimming hat.