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Chanel is a super power. It’s like China. Its catwalks are longer and its wind turbines are taller. Thirteen wind turbines to be exact, rotating on the catwalk quietly enough to hear the live band cover Kate Bush’s ‘Running up that hill’, spurring on the models as they marathoned down the mighty catwalk. The show re-affirmed the stature and supersize of the house, a grandeur translated onto the collection with too-hot-to-handle giant statement circle bags like hula hoops and hats with wide brims, circumference about one metre. Exaggerated shoulders and bubble-shaped top halves continued the ‘size matters’ statement, and the tweed suit sang the house’s heritage anthem, decorated in pearl polka dots. Beginning with a typically Chanel black and white palette: black bandeau dresses with white rims, quilted suits and white collars, Karl the master Lagerfeld introduced colour respectfully in tweed jackets with graphic stitching, giving a 3D effect. The colour got warmer in hot pink, mind-bending graphic jumpers and voluminous royal blue dresses. Mini wind turbines sewn onto dolly dresses evolved into flower embroidery, a comment on the peace between man-made and nature perhaps. Then it was back to the staple Chanel diet: black and white with pristine style. It was a focussed collection, pretty and powerful, combining heritage and modernity, with all parts measured equally. And what did it prove… that Chanel is at the top its game, and that you can’t beat Karl at chess.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Photography: Mitchell Sams
See all of our SS13 womenswear coverage here.