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Brief Published: 5 Oct 2011

PFW S/S 2012: Chanel


The Grand Palais in Paris was transformed into a sprawling white undersea kingdom yesterday, as Karl Lagerfeld unveiled the ocean-inspired Spring/Summer 2012 collection for Chanel.

Lagerfeld showcased fabric developments that evoked sea life, weaving iridescent ribbons into garments for a shimmering mother-of-pearl effect. Other treated fabrics created textured, frothy effects, reminiscent of sea sponges. 

The overall look consisted of Chanel’s signature boxy lightweight tweeds, drop waists, ankle-length tulle skirts, ruffled panels and mille-feuille pleats. Accessories included shoes with heels shaped like round sea urchins, and belts slung around the waist with strings of pearls that furthered the underwater look. 

As with every Lagerfeld show for Chanel, the production was almost as important as the fashion itself. Sculptures were placed in the centre of the vast arena, including a giant white seahorse and half a clam shell, where London-born singer Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine sang What the Water Gave Me.

Paris Fashion Week ends today.