A private island in Dubai owned by the country’s hereditary prince, Sheikh Hamdan, was the stage for Chanel’s decadent Resort 2015 collection. Romance was on high with traditional nods to Middle Eastern garb at play — mostly concocted from Karl Lagerfeld’s expansive imagination. Breezy fabrics billowed and sinuous designs draped the models’s lithe bodies: enlivened with that quintessential Chanel flair in the form of eye-catching patterns and dazzling metallics.
The collection was an expert study in layering, with pajama-inspired trousers layered under skirts and dresses, doused and gilded in lamé wherever possible. Arabic calligraphy uplifted the pieces and as you might have imagined, accessories were out-of-this-world from the French fashion house’s iconic brooches adorning the models’s bouffant hairdos and jerrican-shaped quilted leather bags — no fuel included and a blatant nod to the region’s oil reserves. It was all very bohemian though set against the city’s futuristic, shimmering skyline which I can attest is truly a sight to behold in person.
Chanel has never been a brand that centered around overt sexiness, but the brand did keep in line with Dubai’s more modest dress code with infrequent peeks of skin, looser silhouettes, and longer hemlines. The color palette was rich and poignant, ranging from neutrals to punchy pinks and verdant greens.
The dressier offerings were all neutral in hue and were given that eveningwear elegance with an array of embellishments — feather motifs, chain links, and beaded clusters to name a few. It’s only logical to expect to see some of the brand’s avid fans wearing these designs at Cannes: perhaps those stylish ladies who were sprinkled across the show’s front row including Tilda Swinton, Freida Pinto, Dakota Fanning, and Vanessa Paradis.
Florals are iterated to exhaustion every year in Resort and Spring collections, but the flower-patterned separates here were impossible to ignore. Lamé harem pants in the print towed the line between comfort and Chanel chic, while a high-collar swing coat with bracelet sleeves was practically made for street style snaps come Fashion Week. Overall, the collection was extremely charming — it’s always a joy to see how Lagerfeld brings the brand through each season with a different global inspiration, though somehow still achieving Gabrielle Chanel’s original vision. One never knows what to expect, which truly keeps the iconic house exciting and fresh.
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Images: Fashion Wire Press