Karl Lagerfeld chose Hamburg and the Elbphilharmonie to present the new CHANEL Métiers d’art collection. An extraordinary building conceived by the architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, this concert hall sits majestically by the river like a futuristic liaison with the city’s industrial port.

Past, present and future. The three units of time that inspired Karl Lagerfeld for the Paris-Hamburg collection. Around these three axes, the designer infused images of the Hamburg port, with gliding silhouettes of the merchant navy crew that he disrupted with the modernism of CHANEL.

He revisited their wardrobe, re-appropriating their pea coats, their drop-front trousers, striped tops and immutable caps. While the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel – she who stole the striped sailor top and pea coat from men – is never far away, Karl Lagerfeld has enlarged this vocabulary of masculine/feminine by multiplying the details and reinventing the codes of the House to create a unique, daring, confident and ultra-feminine attitude.

 

It is a pure and graceful line, a look punctuated with sailor collars, jackets that are more or less fitted, long redingotes, mini-skirts and extra-wide trousers designed to feminise this 76-strong crew of “sailors who haven’t taken to the water”, tells Karl Lagerfeld.

 

Tweed is accompanied by broadcloth, cashmere and flannel; silk crêpe alternates with chiffon and a discreetly scintillating jersey. Woven patterns draw inspiration from the bricks of buildings that surround the docks in the port and the stacks of multicoloured containers that arrive by cargo ship while buttons take the shape of precious anchor bolts and braided woollen threads evolve into downy cordage.

With a flared cut, the CHANEL jacket becomes a pea coat. Another one, longer with a high collar, is high-waisted for a broader drop. The drop-front trousers are widened and come in both short and long versions, braided down the seam with a tuxedo four-coloured grosgrain ribbon. In contrast, the straight skirt becomes “a sailor skirt”, as Karl Lagerfeld calls it, with a waist marked by a double-button drop-front.

 

Shaking up the codes, Karl Lagerfeld transformed the casual striped sailor top so dear to Gabrielle Chanel into a mini strapless dress embroidered entirely with painted feathers, collar and cuffs in sequins and precious stones, or lengthened with a satin skirt hemmed with feathers. Conversely a long dress in black crêpe with a slit back and ruffles was jauntily accessorised with a cap.

 

In terms of accessories, the fetish sailor’s bag is secured firmly on the shoulder, ready for a long voyage at sea, the minaudières take form as containers, anchor bolts and life buoys. Karl Lagerfeld dressed CHANEL’s GABRIELLE bag with an elegant checked tweed in colours typical of the city of Hamburg’s brickwork. Marine anchors appeared on earrings and brooches while their chains became sautoirs and bracelets improvised themselves as cordage.

With this collection, Karl Lagerfeld speaks about a look and an attitude. The CHANEL woman is unique and inevitably stands out: “dress a woman in black and white at a party and you’ll see only her,” affirmed Gabrielle Chanel. In Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld added mystery and depth. With the utmost elegance.

Celebrities including Ambassadors Kristen Stewart (Face of the fragrance GABRIELLE CHANEL), Lily-Rose Depp (Face of the fragrance N°5 l’Eau), Tilda Swinton, Rinko Kikuchi, Marine Vacth (Face of the Cruise 2017/18 collection) and Anna Mouglalis, English actress Kaya Scodelario and Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin, German Top Model Tatjana Patitz, German actresses Marie Baümer, Hannah Herzsprung, Johanna Wokalek and Sandra Hüller, German actor Lars Eidinger and director Tom Tykwer attended the presentation of the CHANEL Métiers d’art 2017/18 Paris-Hamburg collection.

On stage, the London-based cellist, composer and producer Oliver Coates played, with the ensemble Resonanz, an original music specially created for the show.

Source: Chanel