Chanel goes arty with extravagant show and bold coloured prints
Accessories anchored it all, with new takes on the familiar motifs
Models at yesterday’s Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Daniel Kearns: Recently appointed artistic director of Facconable, a prominent French lifestyle brand founded on the Riviera in the 1950s
This year marks Karl Lagerfeld’s 80th birthday and 30 years at the helm of Chanel where he is as inextricably linked to the global French brand as its famous interlocking CCs.
At the Grand Palais in Paris yesterday, on a set mocking a modern art gallery decked out with canvasses, empty frames and cheeky takes on installations, the old German master sent out a painterly collection, broad in scope and ultra stylish in execution.
With the harsh energy of rapper Jay Z on the soundtrack, the idea of clothing as a canvas for self expression was explored with wit and street spirit.
Privately owned by the secretive Wertheimer brothers, the company, said by Bloomberg to be worth $20 billion, can afford such extravagant spectacles.
New this season, along with caped jackets and grungy takes on strawberry tweeds were kaleidoscopic coloured prints, slashed, fringed and worn with youthful dash, ankle- socked shoes and backpacks.
Making a strong visual impact, these paintbox prints broke free from the usual Chanel associations, but accessories anchored the links.
As expected, there were new takes on the familiar motifs to whet the appetites of well-heeled customers.
A long tabard style tunic in oatmeal tweed barely concealed shorts underneath, while a black and white check dress was overprinted with camellias. The little black dress was reinvented with black Guipure lace and there were pearls everywhere, tracing the edges of little caped dresses or as oversized orbs decorating rings and neckpieces.
The new bags in metallic, patent or plexiglass chimed with the multicoloured eye make-up and the models’ stiff helmets of hair made them look like a tribe of modern Amazons.
Playful and spirited and very beautiful in parts, the collection left no one in any doubt that the octogenarian designer, who paraded the runway at the show’s finale, shows no sign of slowing down.
The Irish in Paris - Daniel Kearns
Recently appointed artistic director of Facconable, a prominent French lifestyle brand founded on the Riviera in the 1950s, Irishman Daniel Kearns will be responsible for its international development commuting between Nice and Paris.
From Rathgar and son of Nicholas Kearns President of the High Court, the designer has had a stellar career in menswear since graduating from NCAD and the RCA in London. After college, he moved to France, where he worked successively with Ungaro, John Galliano and with Alexander McQueen for five years before taking up a position with Louis Vuitton.
Later he was headhunted as design director of Yves St Laurent menswear where he remained for the past two and a half seasons.
Married to the Irish model Andy Mahony, the couple have two children, Bailey and Beatrice aged 8 and 6, and live in central Paris. “I love this city”, he smiles. “It has so much culture, so much to feed off and it’s not so far from home.”