Karl Lagerfeld recently chose the Bosquet des Trois Fontaines at the Château de Versailles for his presentation of Chanel’s 2012/2013 Cruise Collection.
As the evening light shimmered through fountains and waterfalls, the audience sat beneath painted wooden tents decorated with trompe l’oeil curtains in an atmosphere that was nothing short of bucolic.
“It is Coco rock, French rock with a very 18th century frivolity, one that’s been updated with new materials and new proportions,” Karl Lagerfeld said.
The tone was set by mischievous marquises with their short dyed hair, attached in CC bow-tied ponytails. The opening little dress neatly summed up the show: lightweight with a high, clearly defined waist.
Panniers featured throughout the collection, gently delineating the dresses, short shorts and culottes.
Coats, in tweed and denim, fitted or with peplums, in military or riding styles, were worn with large or short trousers (“à la Française”, according to Lagerfeld), delicate chiffon dresses and shorts.
The pastel palette – powder pink, aqua and lilac – was electrified by the white of little dresses in satiny cottons embroidered with vibrant yellow, violet and pink rhodoid.
Casual and punky twists multiplied in the wake of edgy denim with its gold military embroidery, as seen on waistcoats with Napoleonic collars.
Hi-tech fabrics, including vinyl and metallic denim, injected a dose of modernity into the abundance of ribbons, ruffles, tulles and pleats.
Neck bands, pendant earrings in a rainbow of colours, tie-dyed wide-brimmed hats and platform shoes completed the joyously whimsical looks.
Along with draw-string purses, the Boy Chanel handbag was revisited in iridescent royal blue leather, sky blue woven leather and a highly graphic black and gold leather marquetry.
Following the show, guests were invited to take a ‘royal’ stroll through the Château gardens ending up at the Bosquet des Rocailles for a cocktail party and musical interlude provided by Chanel muse Alice Dellal.