February 28, 2012
Sweetness and Light
Sorbet colors rule for spring at Chanel and Louis Vuitton
By Nancy Staab
Chanel’s and Louis Vuitton’s Spring Ready to Wear Collections summoned up sugar and spice and all things girly and nice, while remaining rigorously modern at the same time.
Icy sorbet colors and ice cream parlor pastels were the name of the game at both Chanel and Louis Vuitton’s spring runways. In fact, Vuitton even set their spring ads in an ice cream parlor as if to underscore the point! Maybe after a bleak winter and bleak economy, sugar and nostalgic childhood sweetness are a welcome antidote. An Easter egg palette prevailed at Louis Vuitton where models sported various shades of pinks, daffodil yellows, mint greens, peaches and robin’s egg blues. Even leather crocodile jackets were feminized with these softer hues. Laser lace work, organza, and daisy paillettes abounded as well as some starchy lace collars worthy of a Van Dyck painting. Sparkling tiaras, translucent handbags, but for the LV logo (these girls have nothing to hide), and LV-stamped parasols created a frilly, ingénue mood. Marc Jacobs even sent his models out via painted carousel and music box theme song. Jacob muse Kate Moss closed out the show in a ballerina-like, white, ostrich feather pouf that looked good enough to eat.
Similarly, at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld took inspiration from and “Under the Sea” theme, transforming the Grand Palais into a watery underworld of powdery white sand, corals, seahorses and a giant shell opening to reveal performer Florence Welch singing “What the Water Gave Me.” Sticking to a primarily oyster palette of pale pinks, white, grays, watery blues and the occasional black, Lagerfeld whipped up a dreamy, ladylike collection. Iconic Chanel pearls were used to good effect, whether scattered through the models’ hair or used as buttons or wrapped around the waist in lieu of a belt. Looks were paired with silvery booties and we adored the bundled up Chanel bags, wrapped in chain straps of course. A few dresses and suite bore a decidedly modern look with a linear, black ribbon pattern woven into them. Several pieces played on the theme of iridescence like the inside of a shell or the effects of sunlight on the ocean. Other forms of embellishment resembled sea sponges, barnacles, scallop trim, silvery fisherman’s nets or trailing seaweed. The results were feminine, modern and otherworldly. One expected Lagerfeld to ride in at the end bearing a trident like Neptune on his seahorse, but instead he walked the runway with Welch like a mere mortal. At the end of the runway he took his deserved bow as a designer so fertile and creative that he can summon up all the diverse beauty of the sea in one fashion show.
SEE LOUIS VUITTON AND CHANEL RUNWAY SLIDESHOWS BELOW.