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Chanel, an autumn in the undergrowth

March 13 2018

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Under the glass roof of the Grand Palais, Chanel reconstructed the idea of ​​a forest, with some trees in the middle and huge trompe-l'oeil photos all around. The smell of undergrowth and more. The models were dressed in all the hues of autumn, from fake furs and plant prints to jewellery that mimicked nature. To compensate for the cutting of oaks and poplars, the house on rue Cambon will replant 100 trees in a forest of Perche. - Isabelle Cerboneschi, Paris.

As soon as I entered the cupola of the Grand Palais, I felt that scent of the undergrowth. Prégnante, fat, almost animalistic. It occupied all the space. A scent of humus, earth, decaying leaves. The smell of the forest, as if the wolf was there.

On huge walls, pictures of trees in trompe-l'oeil gave the impression that we had penetrated the lands of Brocéliande, even if the cupola over our heads proved the opposite. Real trees in the center, completed to give the illusion of this interior outdoors. "I like forests in autumn," says Karl Lagerfeld in the show interview. It reminds me a bit of my childhood. The house where I spent eight years of my life was in the woods. "

The collection itself takes the hues of nature; printed muslins like foliage, embroidered leaves on the shoulders, jewellery flowers, branches, or trees of life, and especially the great dresses and coats of tweed. "I like the mix of tweed and the colours of autumn. says Karl Lagerfeld again. This collection is very similar to me, it reflects my tastes, but at the same time it is very Chanel. "

Very Chanel indeed, tweed being one of the favourite subjects of the house. Gabrielle Chanel had borrowed it from her lover, the Duke of Westminster, when she wore her tweed hunting jackets for horseback riding or salmon fishing. This rather rough material carries with it all the hues of the Scottish landscapes, from the heather to the rocky spaces and in fact, it had been adopted by the aristocracy as a camouflage suit. "Tweeds, I brought them from Scotland, homespuns * dethroned pancakes and muslins. I obtained that wool should be washed less to leave them soft, "said Gabrielle Chanel.

Worn under the arm, folded like a shopping bag, the "31". "This new bag is actually an old bag that Gabrielle Chanel owned and offered to Mrs. Claude Delay, who is today a very chic lady. She offered it to us and seeing it I thought that we could be inspired to do something. So I created a new form that became the "31". In French there is an expression that says, "get on your 31". It's when you get dressed for a party, "says Karl Lagerfeld.

With the "31" under the arm, and some other opus slung over the shoulder, like this trunk-shaped minaudière, the models are wearing richelieu shoes or leather thigh boots, passing between the trees. Trees that have also created a controversy the day of the show, launched by France Nature Environnement fédération française des associations de protection de la nature et de l’environnement. "Frequently challenged for his taste for furs and already targeted for previous decorations (a real" piece "of ice, a lion ...), Chanel is still missing. The famous fashion house has indeed chosen to create a "nature" decor, with real trees, for its 6 fashion show March. Result: trees, sometimes centuries old, slaughtered for a few hours of show. "

The response from the house was not long in coming: "Chanel wishes to specify that it is not in any case century-old oaks but oaks and poplars coming from a French forest of Perche, acquired in the frame an authorized cutting plan. When acquiring the trees, Chanel committed to replant a plot of 100 new oaks within the forest. "

And during that time, I reread an excerpt from the report of the Institut national sur la recherche spatiale (INPE), which announces that 7893 km2 of Amazon Rainforest were destroyed in a year between August 2015 and August 2016. »Almost the size of French-speaking Switzerland (9500 km2). And I wonder if some people should not choose their fights better ...

* homespuns: Scottish fabrics made at home by artisans.

** Coco Chanel, Henry Gidel, Flammarion, 2000.

See the video of the Chanel show (courtesy Chanel)

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