PARIS – It’s been a part of our lives for over a century, but Chanel still knows how to put together an impressively forward-looking collection. Founded in 1909 by Coco Chanel, the iconic fashion house has been under the creative direction of Karl Lagerfeld for more than three decades now, moving along at his unprecedented pace, always with an eye on the future. It is Lagerfeld who sees to the repeated reinvention of the double C, refreshing the brand image and updating the look, over and over again.
For this autumn’s prêt-à-porter show at the Grand Palais, Lagerfeld came up with the Chanel Data Centre collection. Models made their way through kilometres of cables, walls of metal racks and rows of computer processors. Femininity in a digital era was key to both show and clothes. The female robot that opened the event represented the mistress of Lagerfeld’s digital universe. In his words: ‘The Spring-Summer 2017 Chanel woman wears her babydoll and negligee in silk and lace. Over that she nonchalantly sports a tweed jacket with rounded shoulders, long sleeves and wide lapels, and a pair of culottes zipped at the front and back.
In another message, Lagerfeld draws attention to craftsmanship, a major building block of his haute couture label. ‘This collection turns the spotlight on chic lingerie whose elegance contrasts fiercely with the reality of our automated world. Without the human hand, without delicacy and savoir-faire, nothing would be possible. After all, don’t two robots wearing two Chanel suits thus prove, perhaps, that more than any technological breakthrough, it is femininity that truly transcends time?’ If this is the promise of the future, happy days await us.