The World Is A Dark Place

I love when a designer follows the natural course of seasons and doesn’t present a fall/winter collection which includes pastel and gauzy clothes. You might say that in the world of fashion the idea itself of season is so old-fashioned, and you may be right. In any case, I don’t agree with the continuous flow of collections produced by maisons and I don’t like the incredible pressure designers feel for their collections to be marketable. One of the few (if not the only one) who can really keep up with this hectic rhythm is Karl Lagerfeld: he doesn’t only design lovely collections for Chanel, but he also introduces innovations and follows his own personal concept of style, thus setting the standards for all the rest to follow.

The fall/winter 2011 collection is dark without being vampy: inspired to sources such as the German artists Caspar David Friedrich and Anselm Kiefer (and to the gloomy atmosphere of London, as portrayed by Charles Dickens, I add), it includes tattered and ashy clothes, which hide precious details and recurring themes of the French maison. The costume jewellery collection which completes the clothing collection echoes the main theme and focuses on my favourite pieces of jewellery again – cuff bracelets.

This is surely one of the most impressive pieces of the collection – a cuff bracelet which seems to be cut from lava stone. It’s made of plexi in a faded grey and embellished with a medallion, which includes metal floral decorations, strass and a double C.

Talking of impressive pieces, this extraordinary bib necklace is surely one: as the bracelet above, it’s made of faded grey cabochons in plexi and diamanté. This is not the first time such a piece is included in Chanel costume jewellery collections, but it’s always impressive to see the mastery lying behind such an incredible piece.

As I said before, many are the cuff bracelets included in the collection. This one has Chanel signature decoration made of metal and decorated by glass pearls.  I don’t care for the logo much, but I’m attracted by the iridescent base of the bracelet.

It’s not my cup of tea, but you can’t deny the dramatic effect of this cuff bracelet in filigree metal, embellished with a medallion and glass crystal.

Another impressive piece, slighly reminiscent of the floral vibe of the spring/summer 2011 collection: this cuff bracelet in plexi is embellished with metal branches and vine leaves and diamanté.  The intricate decoration of branches conveys a romantic idea of fragility and this is why I like this bracelet so much.

This is such a classic piece! We’ve seen it millions of times in Chanel collections, in millions of different versions, but it never fails to impress. This is embellished with a metal medallion with glass stones and cabochons.

I’m not a fan of fringed jewellery, but these camellia-shaped earrings with hanging chains are really pretty. They don’t share the same mood with the rest of the collection, but are the nth interpretation of Chanel’s symbolic flower.

The same can be said for this statement necklace, made of enamel camellia-shaped elements, embellished with glass pearls and a fringe of gold chains. The gold fringe is pretty weird here and I might even say distracting from the beautiful camellias.

Now let’s stop for a minute to admire these beautiful haircombs, decorated with plexi cabochons, glass stones, enamel and diamanté. The haircomb is an old-fashioned accessory I love so much, and it’s nice to see it included in this collection. You may remember two haircombs were part of the spring/summer 2010 collection, too (in that case, they were decorated with gold wheats and cherry blossoms).

Brooches are other unmissable pieces in a Chanel collection: in this case, we have two shapes – one is the classic cross-shaped medallion, embellished with turquoise and grey glass stones and enamel cabochons; the other has a thin bar shape and is decorated by diamanté, glass pearls and glass stones.


Both pieces were presented on the runway. The first brooch was pinned on the braided belt of a tweed dress. An unusual detail: the cabochon stones applied on the cuff, resembling the shape of a cross.

The bar-shaped brooch was pinned on a lovely evening dress made of black and white chiffon, with dramatically ruffled sleeves and collar.

Besides the dark industrial vibe, there seems to be another source of inspiration – Art Nouveau – in the collection, which can be found in two very peculiar pieces. The first one is a choker made of metal, enamel and diamanté. I like this necklace, but without the double C pendant. Sorry, but seeing this logo everywhere is starting to make me sick.

On the other hand, this cuff bracelet is perfect: its shape is reminiscent of a butterfly; in this case, the double C is well hidden among the rest of the decoration.

This piece was seen on the runway: it completed a chiffon dress with ruffled neckline and it was worn on adorable white fingerless gloves with black tulle overlay.

Though impressed by some pieces, I must admit this collection doesn’t get me very excited, probably because I don’t feel much connection to its sources of inspiration. Now I’m looking forward to seeing the pieces designed for the spring/summer 2012 collection, hoping it won’t let me down. What do you think of this collection? Do you agree with me or do you appreciate it?

Source and source.

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