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See what Chanel brought to the runways for Paris haute couture

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Within the Grand Palais, a sweeping wooded scene – sand, brush and soaring trees – served as the backdrop for the Chanel haute couture show on Tuesday. It felt like being in an enormous terrarium.

Christophe Ena/AP

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Karl Lagerfeld used white to accentuate the shoulders. While the white blouse is a Chanel signature, this felt cleaner and cooler. Which is not to say the models gave off a similar impression – no, with their black-rimmed eyes, they drifted through the scene with a certain sadness.

Christophe Ena/AP

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In other examples, he framed the shoulders from below, adding an extra, wider ring of metallic-flecked fabric so that they appeared more delicate – a skilled manipulation of proportion as only Lagerfeld could do.

BENOIT TESSIER/Reuters

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Lagerfeld also used white to accentuate the shoulders. While the white blouse is a Chanel signature, this felt cleaner and cooler. Which is not to say the models gave off a similar impression – no, with their black-rimmed eyes, they drifted through the scene with a certain sadness.

BENOIT TESSIER/Reuters

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The couture collection allows Chanel to show off the work of its eight ateliers – embroiders, goldsmiths, glove makers among others. Mostly set against black this season, the embroidered flowers appeared as if in relief, their petals built up like wafer thin porcelain.

BENOIT TESSIER/REUTERS

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The Chanel brides came out as a couple holding hands and were joined by Hudson Kroenig, Lagerfeld’s godson (and the son of Canadian model Brad Kroenig). In between a panel sheer zigzag smocking, wisps of feathers around their shoulders and hips gave the dresses a light, natural volume.

Christophe Ena/AP

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Stephane Rolland’s approach to embellishment is typically hard-edged and architectural, sometimes even bordering on severe. This collection, he kept to a monochromatic palette and punctuated his slinky sheaths with softer flourishes.

GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

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Rolland likes drama – sometimes to a fault. Models often have difficulty walking in his creations and one model wiped out. Surprisingly, it was not this one.

GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

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While there are very few rules in fashion today, sometimes things don’t look quite right. The sheer panel at this point on the dress presents an awkward break that, most of all, looks over-designed.

Christophe Ena/AP

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Rolland, who once again drew Kim Kardashian to his front row, always closes the show with a famous face. This season, it was Carmen Dell’Orefice, an 81-year-old grande dame of modeling who appeared on the cover of Vogue in 1946.

Christophe Ena/AP

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For her second couture collection, Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko tapped into her childhood reservoir of nursery fables. Children’s literature and romance novel combine in her take on (not so little) Red Riding Hood. Scarlett O’Hara was another reference.

DAN & CORINA LECCA

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The designs featured unabashedly flirtatious details: sheer tops, corsets and pantaloons. Occasionally, this strayed into costume territory. But Sergeenko shows a commitment to craft – elaborate crochet work, porcelain beads and beautiful beading – that confirms her couturier spirit.

DAN & CORINA LECCA

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