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Brief Published: 2 Oct 2013

PFW S/S 2014: Chanel

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Art was the theme at the Chanel show in Paris earlier today. Karl Lagerfeld staged the Spring/Summer 2014 show in the Grand Palais, with large, brightly coloured pieces of Chanel-inspired art setting the scene for the collection. From the gallery-come-runway to the paintbox eye make-up and portfolio and brush-roll handbags, the art world has clearly had an impact on the German fashion designer.

A free-spirited sense of creative abandon reflected these artistic references, with multicoloured yarns, frayed hems, bare midriffs and layered bangles amounting to a playful take on rebellion. This punkish attitude is nothing new for Chanel (remember Autumn/Winter 2013’s thigh-high leather chain-wrapped boots?). But this season felt more youthful in its inception, helped along by a pastel palette and the occasional 60s space-race silhouette, referencing the freethinking mentality that formed the backbone of the aesthetic.

As with any Chanel show, the accessories are as important as the apparel – if not more so. For S/S 14, street staple the rucksack gets the Chanel treatment, while tote bags and the French fashion house’s classic 2.55 chain-handle purses are reimagined with spray-paint, stencilling and watercolour patterns, pretty much summing up the feeling of the entire show. There were moments that spoke of preppy art students with classic tweed suiting, knotted sweaters worn over the shoulders and socks teamed with pumps (which on closer inspection were in fact attached to a spectator pump) in true wasp style.

Any girlish naivety was offset by the experimental beauty (see Marc Jacobs for similar shag-cut wigs) and the daring, youthful sense of creative abandon that prevailed.

Paris Fashion Week concludes tomorrow.

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