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Brief Published: 9 Mar 2011

Chanel: Paris Fashion Week A/W 2011-12


High drama unfolded at Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel autumn/winter 2011-12 show in Paris yesterday.

Surrounded by an apocalyptic backdrop of smoking volcanic rock, models emerged from and disappeared into huge squares of white light – fallen angels caught between heaven and hell.

Following on from his spring/summer 2011 collection, Lagerfeld focused on elements of wear and decay for his latest line, with distressed coats and leggings and trailing threads and unfinished edges creating an air of weathered, aged decadence. And with only the occasional flash of red, jade or navy, smouldering black was the order of the day.

As with other key collections for next season, the masculine/feminine tension was once again at play, with oversized jackets (some with signature boucle jackets layered on top), slouchy trousers, heavy biker boots and flat lace-ups combining to present a boldly boyish look.

For customers looking for the classic Chanel style, the rolled palazzo pant as seen at Giorgio Armani in Milan was featured paired with ladylike kitten heels. The silhouette of this collection was more youthful than the traditional Chanel look, perhaps reflecting Lagerfeld's attempts to attract a younger clientele.