For the Chanel Pre-Fall 2019 collection, Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the spirit of the space and the exceptional savoir-faire of the brand’s fashion Maisons d’art, rendering Egypt a timeless palimpsest. “Egyptian civilisation has always fascinated me: I get inspired by an idea, which I make a reality,” explains Karl Lagerfeld.
The look was slender, lively and ultra-feminine, the hips emphasised by a wide belt, the shoulders highlighted with a plastron collar. Day dresses, suits and coats were worn knee-length, with a hemline that’s slightly shorter at the front, occasionally adopting the allure of a wraparound skirt.
Gold, so cherished by Gabrielle Chanel, was everywhere, with so many variations it became a color in its own right. Responding to the brilliance of this gold the wefts of the tweeds in beiges, whites and blacks reveal subtle and deep colours, turquoise or lapis lazuli blue, coral orange or ochre yellow, dark purple or coralline red.
A shower of sequins seemed to have been blown by the wind over a white dress, an embroidery featuring lotus flowers skims the hem of a skirt like a bas-relief: once again the embroidery ateliers at the Houses of Montex and Lesage demonstrate their art. Knitwear is sophisticated: dresses and long cardigans in faded gold, bronze, turquoise and dusky blue jacquard… The buttons made by the House of Desrues, in sparkling and patinated gold metal or enamelled, were embellished with colored cabochons or very ’80s-style strips of strass. Leather punctuated the pockets and collars of jackets, accentuated the rounding of a hem or plays with the stripes on the sleeve of a dress. Embroideries drew attention to the décolleté, the curve of a hip and the hem of a dress, like sumptuous jewelry, sculpting the silhouette.
The graffiti artist Cyril Kongo, who created the invitations for the show as well as the cover of the press kit, also designed prints for a jacket, dresses and bags, the graffiti transforming cotton fabric into a precious material. “New York, it’s an energy and a melting pot of cultures, it’s very stimulating,” says Karl Lagerfeld, multiplying the tributes to the streets of New York.
The ambassadors Soo Joo Park and Pharrell Williams both walked for the presentation. Numerous celebrities were also present: Penélope Cruz, Margot Robbie, Lily-Rose Depp, Rinko Kikuchi, Liu Wen and Caroline de Maigret, as well as the actresses Julianne Moore, Blake Lively and Marion Cotillard and director Sofia Coppola.
Go backstage at the Paris-New York Métiers d’art as Karl Lagerfeld renew the codes of the House with references to Ancient Egypt and the spirit of New York.