Chanel’s latest haute couture collection is currently in Dubai, making a brief stop before it moves on with its world tour.
Luxury magazine was fortunate enough to be invited to view the pieces, and what strikes first about them is the quality.
First shown in Paris in January, Largerfeld drew inspiration for this collection from the notion of a lady walking in her garden, in a natural oasis, that is brimming with calming flowers and buzzing creatures. All of these elements have been delicately, and miraculously transposed into clothes.
The very essence of haute couture, and what elevates it above the world of ready-to-wear, is surprise and discovery. The surprise of the unrivalled attention to detail, and the discovery that surfaces are not what they first appear to be.
At first glance, one of the dresses from the collection seems to be made of the brand’s signature woven tweed. Only when one draws close is it revealed that the surface is in fact wooden beads, latticed over sequins and bugle beads, in trompe-l’oeil. Hanging on a layer of gossamer silk, the effect is breathtaking.
Another dress appears to be a swathed in feathers, while another layered in shells. It’s only upon closer inspection that you realise both are created from sublime layers of fragile, hand cut, applied and painted wood shavings that, from a distance, resemble a different surface entirely.
How skilful to create something so exquisite from a medium so mundane. For fashion haute couture — itself the very definition of luxury, the use of such an everyday material is nothing short of courageous.
It seems this tireless quest to always try something different is what drives Karl Largerfeld. Last season he presented haute couture jackets made with 3D printers. This season he offers dresses made from wood. How very daring. How very Chanel. How very haute couture.
Luxury magazine also had the opportunity to shoot one of the looks from the new collection, as part of the haute couture editorial for the March issue. Check out the look, and the shoot in full, here.