• Show Review: Chanel Pre-Fall 2014

    Coco Chanel was a French woman through and through, but believe it or not we Americans were the reason why the brand is still flourishing now. When I attended a talk last month with Karl Lagerfeld, he discussed the fashion house’s next Metiers d’Arts show being staged in Dallas and the reasoning behind that decision being: Neiman Marcus in Dallas was thrilled about the brand’s 1954 comeback collection, when the French frankly were not. I was proud to think we finally got something right and it is even more impressive to see the ways in which Chanel’s latest for Pre-Fall 2014 paid homage to the Lone Star state. Titled “Back in Dallas”, the designs are brimming with star motifs, cowboy hats and boots, ponchos, and so much more.

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    The fashion house’s tweed suits are a staple and they’re plentiful here, paired with leather cowboy boots, wool hats, and gemstone jewelry.

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    The brand’s collections can often skew so high-fashion that they stray away from all functionality, but trousers anchor the pieces at play in real-world wear. From a roomy, tweed pair made even cozier with a stripe sweater to leather contrast stripe skinnies giving a menswear-inspired edge with patent, star-emblazoned oxfords, the designs really speak to the wearable nature that is inherent to the Pre-Fall season.

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    The snug, blanket-inspired pieces are so charming, layering oversized coats with logo scarfs, knit pencil skirts, and Victorian-inspired lace styles that infused the offerings with old world femininity.

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    Youthful slivers of midriff are exposed in an array of crop tops, both ornate and simple. We all know Monsieur Lagerfeld loves to stay au courant and he capitalizes on the trend, appealing to his legion of young and fit fans.

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    You can’t talk Texas without fringe and it fell from tweed jackets, the hem of skirts, coveted accoutrements, metallic houndstooth coats, and so much more.

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    Though it’s hardly cold enough for fur when Pre-Fall hits stores, Lagerfeld gives us the luxurious texture anyway with fur sleeves in black and white for dramatic effect. Boots are also covered in the cozy material: not my particular cup of tea, but they’re definitely an extravagant alternative to Uggs.

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    They don’t call it a “Texas tuxedo” for naught and denim definitely has a moment on hats, high-waist skirts, white ruffle-trim frocks, the fashion house’s signature 2.55 bag, and utilitarian vests.

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    Fans including Rita Ora, Lupita Nyong’o, and Rihanna will be pleased with the collection’s array of light and airy, yet glamorous ensembles that can work for a Hollywood party or fun snap on Instagram. A feather skirted number might satisfy Rita’s princess-inspired red carpet taste, while an 80’s-influenced leather dress with colorful fringe might work for Ms. Fenty if chopped to mid-thigh.

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    Two looks making a nod to Native American culture closed the show and as expected, caused controversy in the industry. After so many sending headdresses down the runway and slipping on the traditional garb for costume parties, it is beyond me as to why Karl Lagerfeld would travel down this slippery and offensive terrain. He has often confessed that he would rather portray something from his creative conscious than delve into its realities and that approach is very evident here. They say all publicity is good publicity, but does a world-renowned brand like Chanel really need this kind of attention? I would think not.

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    Thoughts on Chanel’s Pre-Fall collection?

    Images: Style.com

    Faith

    Faith Cummings is a senior editor and staff writer for Fashion Bomb Daily.

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