Kristen Stewart, Lara Stone and Lily-Rose Depp may have been busy playing poker on the runway, but Chanel's Fall 2015 Couture collection was hard to ignore.
We've waited seasons and seasons for a truly fresh and enchanting Chanel collection and Karl has finally created another series of stunning, romantic couture dresses. I've been highly critical of the past few Chanel collections, whether due to the problematic appropriation of protest or, on a more superficial level, the dullness of the clothes. I still believe that a new creative director to liven up Chanel cannot come too soon, but kudos to Karl for the amazing work he has done for the brand. Despite the criticisms ringing from fashion fans on social media, we cannot help but all flock to style.com during fashion week specifically to check out Chanel; even if it is just to see what Lily-Rose Depp is wearing. The brand has such a history and reputation, that it is impossible to ignore it. Even if the general consensus is communicated in reverberating yawns, it is essential even for casual fashion fans to have an opinion on the latest Chanel collection.
The first I saw of today's show was on Instagram where I was drawn in by images of A-Listers sat round a poker table in the centre of the runway. Seeing such beautiful people all sitting in the same place gives me enough life to survive an apocalypse. Although I find Karl's obsession with Kendall Jenner tiring, Chanel generally has a strong history of muses. Freja Beha Erichsen and Kristen Stewart have been some of my favourites. Like everyone else, I'm in love with Lily-Rose Depp at the moment. I really think that her presence has had an impact on making Chanel come across as younger and more appealing. Obviously it is still inaccessible to most teenagers, but it takes young people to remove the stuffy conservatism of high fashion brands. Think less tweed suits and more little black dresses, keeping with Chanel tradition but removing the sameness of reinventing the tweed suit in every collection. Chanel's muses are ambassadors for the brand and social media darlings Kendall Jenner and Lily-Rose Depp attract a new audience, even if it is only of teenagers who spend there summer holiday in bed checking style.com (hi.)
I can't stand unspectacular couture collections because couture rarely makes a profit so it doesn't need to be commercial like resort does. It should be an opportunity for fashion to be art. Often Chanel couture is similar to all their other collections, save for the bride at the end. However, there was an element of artistic beauty at Chanel today. Perhaps my awareness of McQueen-esque details is heightened in a post-Savage Beauty haze, but the feathers, red roses and geometric embellishments had a romantic charm to them, not entirely dissimilar to repeated McQueen motifs. Whilst the Chanel pieces were both glamorous and wearable, they were also awe inspiring and memorable. Chanel will never not be a mainstream, commercial brand but couture is an opportunity to break the mould and show something interesting. It is true that a number of looks are not necessarily distinguishable from past Chanel collections (i.e. the tweed suits) but there is still a freshness in the styling. Though not breathtakingly original, the Fall 2015 Couture collection is definitely a great achievement for Chanel.