Last night Karl Lagerfeld made a triumphant return home, staging Chanel’s Métiers D’Art show in his hometown, Hamburg. Taking place at the recently completed Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Lagerfeld’s nautical-inspired collection paid homage to the port city’s seafaring history. The choice of location was a slight detour from Chanel’s usual Métiers D’Art pit stops, which usually represent a significant chapter or facet from Coco Chanel’s highly-storied history.
Significance aside, Lagerfeld applied a literal approach to the 85-look collection, with anchor motifs and tongue-in-cheek references such as sailor caps and pipes; playfully reinforcing his theme as well as numerous novelty bags which included pleated accordion-style cross body bags, oversized leather duffles that were nonchalantly slung from shoulders and micro-mini clutches made to resemble shipping containers. Inky shades of navy blue, black, white and rust-red formed the collection’s core colour palette and were punctuated with upbeat pops of cobalt, magenta as well as smatterings of shimmering sequins and metallic tones.
The show’s opening looks conveyed a casual tone, with a series of chunky cable knit dresses inspired by cargo shipping containers and brickwork warehouses worn with coordinating slouchy leg warmers. From there, Lagerfeld sent out a number of men’s looks consisting of navy crewneck jumpers and wide, flared sailor-style trousers. Coordinating women’s pinstripe suits followed and then came the house’s signature tweed, embroidered with metallic thread and sequins for some of the more evening-appropriate looks. Cut in a variety of silhouettes and paired with coordinated miniskirts, the tweed suit sets felt incredibly modern and cool – a refreshing update that should appeal to a slightly younger client than the house is used to. Heavy blazers and jackets cut from wool and tweed were paired with wide-leg culottes while longline officer trench coats held a hint of utilitarianism. Leather biker jackets, minidresses and culottes showcased an edgier side to the collection as did the quilted blazer dresses flecked with silver glitter.
As the looks segued into eveningwear, Lagerfeld showcased the full range of talent Chanel’s ateliers have to offer. Black gowns with contrasting colourful panels came down the runway alongside a number of structured tuxedo looks. Frothy tulle gowns and mini dresses adorned with everything from feathers to sequins and mesh overlays.
Overall, the collection followed on from the decidedly younger aesthetic debuted in Paris during the spring/summer18 shows, which is a smart move by the brand to widen their appeal to fashion’s highly sought-after millennial consumer. The garments flitted easily between casual to opulent with plenty of demure and decadent eveningwear options to cater to Chanel’s red carpet regulars and also to the everyday, working woman. If the standing ovation Lagerfeld received as he took his bow is anything to go by, he’s hit yet another home run.